Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Learning to Live With Each Other – July 29, 2012

CFN – Have you ever heard of the definition of insanity?  The definition states that “Insanity is continuing to do things in the same manner and expecting different results.”

This past week I found myself in a situation where I was treated with absolute disrespect and rudeness by a person with an organization of which I asked a simple, straight-forward question.

The said organization receives public funds to serve the community.   The rudeness came in the form of a written reply noted in a public forum.  I telephoned to speak directly with the person who wrote the response however they were not in the office.  As the retort would most certainly reflect very badly on the author I spoke with the person’s associate suggesting that the response would certainly have many questioning the credibility of the author and the organization they represented.  The Associate concurred and immediately removed the response.  Now I still had a copy of this person’s response in my inbox as I received an e-mail noting a reply was noted to my question.

Now…who can I forward this information to, to show this person’s unprofessional manner?  I was making a list…then realized that I was in fact retaliating; preparing myself for war.  It would be like; you hit me, now I’m going to get you back.  Now don’t get me wrong folks, I strongly believe it is important to stand strong for what you know is right in your heart, however in this case I was clearly preparing myself for revenge.  I was plainly ready to get on that perpetual hamster wheel of “an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind”.


Then I read the following:


“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.  Truly the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” (~Lao Tzu~)

The universe works in mysterious ways sometimes.  Those words impressed upon me what I needed to do.  I deleted the message and consciously decided to take myself off of that hamster wheel.


“We as humans are but a small part of a whole and we are not gods. As such, we are responsible for the space that we each occupy in the great sacred circle of life. As human beings we exist as co-equal partners with everything in the universe, upon which we depend for our very existence. Life is related, life is interdependent, and we depend upon all life forms for our continued existence. “(Dr. Henrietta Mann)

“We are in a boat together and have got to steer it responsibly. The message is to move forward strategically, deliberately, and collectively, as the desire is to improve the relationship with earth and other living beings. If the future of human existence is to be rewritten, it must be a positive narrative honoring the circle of life.” ~ Marissa Spang ~

Our world is under immense pressure like no other time in history.  If we want to survive, our living earth requires that we co-flourish with each other and with all other living beings.  Our existence depends on co-existence.

Your commentary is encouraged and always welcome below or to


  1. That’s probably the best way to handle situations like this, but on the other hand, you’d be doing the offender no favour by ignoring their rudeness. Maybe if a higher-up within the organization could have read the response you received, the rude person would receive some basic public relations training. Revenge is always a negative thing. Correcting bad behaviour is usually a good thing.

  2. @Ed….agreed. Thank you for taking the time to read and your commentary.

  3. Jacqueline, you demonstrated an incredible amount of truthfulness, honesty and courage in giving us this example of how to proceed in a peaceful manner. By breaking it down, step by step it shows us that at every step there is a choice to be made which takes us up the path of peace or downward to the road of war. The road of war has alot more travellers right now, am convinced you made the right choice. By informing the co-worker you didn’t let it get swept under the rug but made an effective attempt to bring the wrong behaviour to someone who could do something about it. I think that it is by doing just what you did that, in fact, we contribute to building a society that will be very peaceful. Peace is all about rooting out the causes of our differences which are like weeds planted in the soil of our hearts. If the weed is like quackgrass, and if you have ever had to deal with that invasive species, then you know how much work it is to get rid of it. All these prejudices we have are like quackgrass in our human relation ecosystem, and prejudices lie at the root of war, violence, estrangement, bullying, making the “other” the object of our derision and dislike. Thanks for sharing the example. It is important to do this so we can choose more wisely.

  4. Thanks for the read and commentary Shirley. I do not usually share such personal matters in this Column however I felt this was the best way to relay the thought “Our existence depends on co-existence” and the one very postive thing we can do for ourselves and our world is to change our own thoughts and actions.

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