Time and time again, you will have a choice between two courses of action:
- Quiet action
Others will criticise you, challenge you, tell you that you have failed. They will get in your way, cause you irritation, take resources from you, and ignore you. In response, you always have those two choices: quiet action or resentment.
Quiet action is what we do when we decide on a constructive next step, and do it. It is described as ‘quiet’, because it doesn’t need trumpets or publicity. It is just the next step, and is done with as little fuss as possible. It is called ‘action’ because the aim is to influence the future in a constructive way. We are placing a small brick in the world that we want to build.
If we look at some old meanings, ‘resentment’ comes from ideas of feeling pain or regret, but also of returning to the same feeling. You will notice that, when you feel hurt by others, you can’t quite get it out of your mind. In a sense, you have lost control of your own mind, and are stuck in an endless repetition of felt pain. It’s not pleasant.
REDUCING THE PAIN
You will notice that, when you quietly embark upon a constructive course of action, the resentment starts to reduce. It seems that we humans, once we focus on our next step, begin to forget (or, more accurately, assimilate) our previous experience. Our brains are built to tidy up after us, but only if we show a positive intention. If we stay in resentment, things will get worse. If we move on, and start our next action, things will get better. It’s how we’re built.
Think of something you return to again and again, a negative feeling or resentment. Now think of something constructive you can do in response. For example, if you have suffered at the hands of another person, perhaps you can volunteer to help others who are suffering in the same way as you have suffered.
Make a tiny first step. it does not matter how small, it matters only that the thing is begun. Notice how you feel. It is possible that, once you have started some simple action to make things better in the world, you will begin to forget your resentment. Quiet action could save you.