Please Feed Them So They Stop Eating Others…

An interesting day.

A day spent offline only to log into my inbox and see five emails from concerned colleagues that someone was blatantly stealing my work.

Some of the emails were filled with link after link to offending pages of event copy while others cut and paste things for me to read. Most were filled with great emotion, some expressed disappointment, and a few others made accusations.

I deleted them.

And in that moment, I realized…there was a time I wouldn’t have hit the Delete button so quickly.

There was a time that I would get up in arms, churning within and strategizing how to get even or make things right.

Sitting in front of my computer screen, there was no vengeance in my heart.

All I felt was compassion for this person… and a renewed desire to better use all of the gifts within and around me in a way that could not be copied by any other person alive.

What made the difference?

A couple recent experiences came to mind.

The first was completing Walking with Justice over the past year, the story of my life’s greatest mentor. Putting in words the greatness of this man and the impact of his love and lessons deepened my desire to bring healing whenever and wherever I can. Writing this book profoundly impacted how I want to show up on a daily basis.

The second was my work with my community in the wake of losing three teen boys to suicide last spring. I witnessed the devastating effects of fear and finger pointing and scapegoating in an attempt to feel better or “make things right”.

It was a lot to take in… seeing a child hurt to such an extent that ending his life seemed the best solution. Seeing families senselessly lose a son and a brother. Seeing school staff at a loss for answers and going far beyond what you’d expect from an educational institution to focus on saving lives. Seeing a community in the depths of grief, searching for ways to heal while grasping on to the faint light of hope, knowing to our core that we needed to find a way to face forward and move toward that tiny sliver of light.

I found myself asking how could I dare judge others in the midst of this loss and grief? There appeared only one response that made sense: love and compassion.

In a recent training for school staff about the core assets kids need to be healthy and develop resilience, the trainer told a story of a high school girl who said school was great…until 4th hour. At that time she had a teacher who belittled the students and made them feel small. She left his class drained each day and it was affecting her whole school experience and the quality of her life. With a great deal of maturity and insight she commented, “This got better one day when I realized that as a kid, he didn’t have anyone in his life building him up. He was never given the support he needed so he doesn’t have it to give to us.”

Another student beseeched the trainer, “Can you please feed these teachers so they stop eating the kids?”

I will believe until the day I die that very few people are evil or mean intentioned. The vast majority of people who hurt others are doing the best they can until they hit a wall that is defined by this truth: you cannot give to others what you do not have.

Sadly, we live in a world where many adults were not nourished as children. Many children today are not being nourished. Even with the best of intentions, this often leads to hurting oneself and hurting others.

Our future revolves on caring and helping each other fill ourselves from inside out.

The next time someone does something that appears to be a direct assault on you, step back. Recenter on love and compassion and broaden the lens you are bringing to the situation. Fully entertain the possibility that the offender is not out to get you. They may just want some relief from their pain and are doing the best that they can.

The next step?

Shift back to your greatest work and service to others. You may not be in a position to directly bring relief to the person taking hurtful actions, but you are surrounded by people hungry for your love, compassion, tools, and solutions.

Surrounded.

Take a good look around you.

What are you going to do to feed others today?

And please remember…feed yourself.

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Leave A Reply (16 comments So Far)

  • Mollie – thanks for sharing great examples on how to shift one’s perspective and energy.  Love the powerful and practical solutions.

    • Thanks, Lisa. This was an easy one to write…poured out from the heart. Glad you found it helpful! 

  • Michelle Bersell

    I want to eat up all this wisdom and compassion you share – oh so good Mollie.  Thanks for the great inspiration and guidance!

    • You’re so sweet. Just passing on some wisdom and compassion I’ve been fed. Very, very grateful to have received it and an honor to help those I can with it. Thank you. Btw… can’t wait to see you at Make an Impact Live! — did you see I mentioned you in my Musings this week?! http://www.drmollie.com/blog.

  • Hiro Boga

    Truth, beautifully expressed. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much. Glad my experience and truth can help guide your own. Appreciate you!

  • Anonymous

    What a full expression of love.  Thanks for requiring all of us to step up and let grace happen.

  • Anonymous

    Mollie, this is so beautiful and i can’t tell you how much it resonated with me today. I read it and thought…how does she know???! I recently had an experience where someone’s meanness and rage was directed at me and it hit me to the core. It made me want to hide.  Although I was able to see (maybe more in an angry way) how her difficulties in life led her to this rage, your words about offering compassion and love and broadening my lens totally shifted the energy I was holding around it. Relief! 
    I hope you are well! Would love to reconnect soon,
    Karen Schachter

    • Thanks so much, Karen, for letting me know my writing/sharing brought you some relief!

      This is one of those blogs that just poured out. My experience is this results in a “love it or hate it” response, depending on how others see themselves reflected in it. No right or wrong here — it’s all just a part of our shared journey. 

      Anyway, GRATEFUL my truth deeply resonated with your own and helped bring some healing. Would love to reconnect — please consider joining me at http://www.makeanimpactlive.com this fall!

  • Beautifully expressed. I knew these things, but I didn’t realize until I read this how badly I needed to be reminded. Thank you.

    • We all need reminders…every day…to live our best life design. Thanks for letting me know this was a helpful one for you, Julie!

  • This is a story of grace. Thank you Dr. Mollie for so graciously sharing your journey with us. 

    • A story of grace… this beautifully sums up for me what this was, Dondi.

      I was given grace in a moment to choose a better way for me and my team/friends. Sharing this article was a celebration of this. I feel deep, profound gratitude for this (…can tell you, I don’t always tap into the grace that’s available to me — committed to keep working on this!)

  • Mollie-
    The easiest way I’ve found to deal with others who haven’t yet found their own voice but prefer to try to be like others: bless and release. A friend taught me that short but powerful action phrase and it sounds like exactly how you handled your situation.

    You are so right — as usual!– with so much hurt and suffering in the world, there really is no need to add to it our own hurt from a place of ego, but to look at the world and say how can I help? I know you selflessly did that with your town and you continue to do that everyday with your amazing writing and work at BLD.

    Hugs to you!
    Felicia Slattery

    • Bless & Release. Have never heard this before!

      What a great lesson to teach early on to “fishermen” and leaders. Thanks for sharing this powerful insight and too, Felicia.