Constructive Ways to Deal with Injustices
You probably learned years ago that life isn’t fair. However, sometimes it feels like it’s too unfair to let go of. Sometimes, the injustices seem so great, it’s difficult to understand how anyone can go on living a normal life when so many people are struggling. It might be that you experienced a traumatic childhood or you may feel touched by racism or discrimination. These are instances that many are seeing in their daily life. It could be that other people are experiencing the injustice or it might be you.
People who are more sensitive to injustice seem to carry a “me against them” attitude that can quickly lead to anger. These feelings can lead to problems in their relationships with others causing them to be or feel isolated.
So, the question now is “What do I do with these feelings that stir when I encounter injustice?”. Try to discover: What are you feeling? What is your view of humanity? Are your emotions a call to take action or are you feeling helpless? Do you feel singled out when you experience injustice, while the rest of the world is dealt with fairly? The fact is that life can be unfair. There is injustice in the world. It is on the news, in newspapers, and all-over social media. From the first time as a child and someone got ice cream and you didn’t, to the time you were punished for a situation you didn’t cause, you have been dealing with it.
Injustice can be a hard thing to swallow. If you are an overly compassionate personality, you may be more aware of its existence all around you. Injustice can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness, and for some vengeance. Either way, these feelings will rob you of any chance of joy that you have. Of course, you can’t just turn these feelings off. You feel far too strongly about them. That’s okay, you can. You have to allow yourself the space and freedom to experience the emotions that you do. However, there are constructive ways to deal with the injustices that you see.
- Extend Compassion – you are one person and you can only do so much. Offer yourself the same level of compassion as you would to your friends. The more compassion you extend, the less room you have to hold onto anger.
- Join In – sometimes we feel angry about injustices because we feel helpless. There are plenty of community organizations you can join. You can feel like you’re part of the solution and this should help relieve some of the anger and pain that you may be experiencing. Maybe you can help create a program with your local school to mentor children on how to have a positive impact on their world and create change.
- Is it worth it – are you solely focused on the injustice? It’s time to change your view. You’re only going to make yourself angrier which is doing you no favors. Start looking for solutions. Remember, that by staying focused on the injustice instead of a solution, you are continuing to feed it life and energy.
- Educate Yourself – whatever the subject, take time to learn as much about it as possible. You may find that by learning more you can recognize different ways in which you can help.
- Separate emotions from facts – of course, the previous point will help you with this as well. It’s easy to get caught up in your emotions, especially when you’re watching these injustices unfold in the lives of others. We are all human so it’s difficult to watch others suffer. However, removing your emotions from the equations and focusing on the facts can help you focus on productive solutions.
- Seek Help – if you are overrun with emotions at seeing injustices in life, then you may want to seek the help of a professional. Mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, and CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) are all helpful ways to relieve stress and manage your emotions. You can also use positive imagery to help.
- Be the change – it may sound like a cliché, but it’s true. Standing on the sidelines can just increase our feelings of anger and frustration about the injustices that we see. Taking action can be the difference. If there is no existing group that is supporting the cause you feel drawn to, then why not create your own? You have a local community, you have an online community – so, leverage both of them and go out there and make a difference. Inaction is the least constructive way to deal with injustice.
The world will not always be fair, but it may help you to remember there are a lot of wonderful things that people do to make the world a better place. There are people everyday fighting to make a difference for themselves, those who are suffering injustice, and for future generations. It all starts with you choosing to focus on helping yourself. Don’t let the world change you, be the change you want in the world. Help yourself to experience more peace, creating a more positive reflection for those who share your journey. Change and Peace begin with you.
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