WOW | Ed Page

When we talk about belief

Belief : a powerful word that can make you climb the highest mountain or cross an ocean, take up life’s greatest challenges and make you almost invincible… also a word that is so easily used but almost never truly realised.

When we talk about belief, we normally talk about unrealised potential and what we can do to gain and meet that inner capacity. But here I am deliberating on what it means to wear the mask of belief and compromise another life: in the family, as a teacher, as a politician, a job provider… in multiple situations that test the strength of your character and your value systems.

So many people make public proclamations of how they believe in equality, empowerment, progress… and yet when it comes to their private life, they do the exact opposite. It starts with mistreatment of house help and junior staff and goes on to violating other people’s rights and thereon to abuse and violence. Often the perpetrator wears the easy mask of benevolence and stays secure in the knowledge that they will never be caught. Worse are the ones who play mind games – oscillating between abuse and just the one act of kindness which confuses the victim.

When a person finds self-gratification in their ability to suppress and dominate another – through words or action – it is an offence. The inability to see this is couched in the belief that you are actually doing it for another’s good. Words can scar as much as physical abuse. This is something people must become more aware of. Some people do not even notice how what they are doing and saying is affecting another.

It is not always easy to be good and kind and compassionate in a world that more and more values materialism, narcissism and thrives on the imagery of power. Living with awareness helps you choose your actions and responses with generosity, gratitude and kindness. If you can see yourself in another, if you can walk in the shoes of another, you will only become a better person. Practicing empathy can lead to a better world and greater life fulfillment.