A strong emotional attraction has many benefits. Austere adherence to everything from dietary rules to moral principles has been shown to deliver positive results. Strong emotions can fire people up and make the ‘e’ in emotion stand for energy in motion. Groups of people, who have centered their passions on a single mission, are nearly unstoppable. Unwavering beliefs can move mountains. There is a reason why the magnetic pull of emotional attraction has created so many impassioned believers over the millennia.
Five Moderating Behaviors
However, for the sake of social harmony, people need to keep their love for one thing from turning into hate for another (see the attraction-repulsion principle).
That is where moderating behaviors come in.
They are not meant to moderate attraction or reduce belief, but rather to lessen the likelihood of repulsive obsession, which is a destructive power that can tear through everything from personal relationships to diplomatic relations. There is a big difference between harboring a mild aversion to something and aggressively waging war against ideas and people we don’t like.
Although it is quite impossible to quell the human predisposition for repulsion altogether, especially as emotions grow stronger, we can reduce the potential harm. Here are five moderating behaviors that have been known to save people from their own worst instincts:
Yes, times are hard, interfaith events have been cancelled and large dialogue programs are out of the question, but there are still things we can do. Here are several ideas that are worth pursuing. Please, share additional ideas in the comment section.
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) was a towering figure in history. He lived his philosophy of nonviolent resistance (satyagraha) to the best of his ability. His approach, which grew into a full-fledged ideology with many specific tenets, was primarily based on acts of self-control, developing peace from within, and standing firm when it came to righteous convictions, never at the expense of others but always at one’s own expense. He preached that satyagrahis should never hate the doer, only resist the action, and that no human being was beyond redemption, repeatedly stating that:
“It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”
As a lawyer, activist, spiritual figure, and politician, Gandhi was not beyond reproach, but looking at his life, one can hardly doubt the sincerity of his convictions nor argue against their effectiveness.
Ideas that promote social harmony and bridge-building across divides.
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Our mission is to train and support people who want to do good in the world. We do this by providing access to strategies, methods, and ideas that promote social harmony and enable bridge-building across divides. Our primary goal is to help others create harmony in diverse communities.
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Registered in Hays County, Texas
Founded in 2018
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