Optimistic outlooks

Act or React 

Sometimes we have to fight for what we believe in and other times we need to know when its not worth fighting. In no way do I mean to give up on your hopes, dreams, or aspirations and to stop fighting for your goals. My intention is to simply explain that there are some “fights” that will never be won, usually because the opposition just doesn’t care or because the opposition is to narrow minded to see, hear, or understand such a broad perspective like the one you have to offer. These are the fights that will never be won by reacting, but they will always be won by taking action. Newton’s third law states “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This applies to physics but also to difficult situations. What Newton’s third law does not state is that for every action you do not have to react, you can also take action.

Let me explain:

6 year olds, Jack and Jill are playing together in the sand box at recess. They are best friends. Jack suddenly shoves Jill’s face in the sand and steals the cupcake out of her lunchbox.

Reaction 1: As a result of Jack’s action Jill could get up while screaming “I HATE YOU” at the top of her lungs, grab Jack, shove his face in the sand, kick him in the shin, throw the cupcake at him and never speak to him again. EVER. For all intents and purposes, this is going to be known as an equal reaction. Jack was mean to Jill. He hurt her even though she was his best friend. Then, Jill took it upon herself to hurt Jack.

Reacton 2: As a result of Jack’s action Jill could get up, approach Jack, and simply say, “Hey Jack, why did you do that?” Jill would remain calm the whole time and in an ideal world Jack would have a reason for his action, he would apologize to Jill, and he and Jill would resolve their conflict and remain friends. Jack would realize that what he did was very hurtful and wrong. Let’s refer to this as the opposite reaction since Jill chose not to behave in the same way that Jack did. She chose to be nice and respectful even though he was mean to her and disrespectful.

But then….then there is a third kind of reaction, one that is a lost cause, one that even Newton’s law can not identify with.

Reaction 3: Jill would take the same approach as she did in reaction 2 but Jack would not react the way he did in reaction 2. Jack would continue to be mean to Jill and he would never admit that he was wrong. Jill would explain to Jack how she feels and why she is hurt and he would never understand that he could have hurt her or admit that he was wrong even if he knew deep down that he was. No matter what, Jack will never admit his faults and Jill will never be able to win this “battle”–Jack believes he can do no wrong but Jill knows that Jack has wronged her.

^This is what I mean when I say that some fights will never be won, these are the fights that require you to take action and not react. Jill should walk away from Jack, play with her other friends, and have fun at recess.

I have been hurt recently on two completely separate occasions in ways that I can not explain or comprehend. Rather than react to them I have taken action and moved on with my life in the most positive ways that I know how. I think I have come to peace with the things that were upsetting me just by simply taking a step away from them and creating a plan of action. Taking action can give you power and control in those situations when you can not win the fight. If you feel like you are never going to win stop fighting and take control. TAKE ACTION!!

It may not be worth fighting but it is worth taking action. 

One thought on “Act or React 

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