Proactive, Reactive, Inactive

Last night in my city another gun shot rang out and the all too familiar sound of sirens penetrated the air, undoubtedly another shooting death. The homicides thus far almost outnumber the days of 2016. I don’t understand the lack of humanity that seems to be an increasing plague this season. Though I lack the comprehension, I frankly would rather not wrap my mind around the sense of it because I realize that it is senseless.

What can I do? Well, I can have one of three reactions. I can choose to be proactive, reactive or inactive.

Of course inactive means that I do absolutely nothing. It could very well mean staying in my house, ignoring the chaos around me and wishing it would go away.  This option accomplishes zilch and imprisons me within the confines of my small space physically and mentally. I refuse to be inactive.

Perhaps being reactive is the better reaction or is it? If I am reactive, I am responding to a problem or situation. I would basically react to occurrences after the fact rather than doing something in advance to perhaps aid in the prevention. The only thing with this option is that I might have the reaction of Peter in the Bible when calamity struck close to home. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, was sure that he would stand up for his Lord and Savior and he did try to the best of his ability. When Jesus was arrested Peter’s reaction was to use his sword and he cut off a man’s ear. Why, because he was being reactive. He reacted to the impending situation out of anger. But, this accomplished nothing as well. Violence was not the proper response even though the situation was hostile. When hostility and violence is prevalent around me and even very close to home my reactive response could very well escalate the problem. I choose not to be reactive.

One option remains. Maybe being proactive is the best reaction. Being proactive will allow me to exercise control over a situation by being prepared. It seems I am living in a city that has taken on attributes of the Wild Wild West. I am not fearful, I am aware. I am not overly anxious, I am cautious. I am not naïve; I am discerning the time and using wisdom. I will love despite the hate, I will help others despite the lack of compassion, I will teach despite the lack of desire to learn, I will be a good neighbor. The Bible puts it best; we should treat others the way we want to be treated. I want to see a change in my city. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The change will start with me. I choose to be proactive.

Praying for my city,

Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.      Proverbs 127:1

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. erhynireh says:

    Nice post. I admire the way you present the three kinds of reaction a person could do in the midst of a violent situation. But I disagree with your lines saying ‘I will help others despite the lack of compassion’, for me there is something contradicting there. Dictionary defines COMPASSION as sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others, so if you’d help you must be feeling at least a pity, or concern?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I knew I should have written that differently. I was actually referring to the lack of compassion from others. I appreciate the observation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. erhynireh says:

        Oh thank you! I’m glad my comment turned out fine.

        Like

  2. Hi there!
    Firstly, let me say that it brings sadness to my heart hearing this about where you live. I think it is hard to have to live in an environment which sounds so unsafe. I’m praying for you and for change where you live.

    Even though I understand your point of view and I understand why you choose to be proactive, I don’t necessarily agree with your choice. In a situation where violence is such a huge problem, being a good Christian (as what you described) may not be the best solution. We, normal people, are not prepared to deal with such violence. Perhaps being proactive by supporting the local police or an organization might be much more helpful than being a good neighbor.

    I would like to make it clear that I don’t think violence is the solution, but when the problem is as harsh as you described, there isn’t much we can do. I’m saying this from experience coming from a Latin-American country, where the violence is part of our everyday lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand your point and concur. I could have elaborated a bit more on what being a good neighbor entailed. I was venting a bit and it would have taken me far too long to go into detail.That is why I concluded with prayer because sometimes there is not much we can do. Thanks for your input.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. 🙂 This was a great post, and it was clear. I think it did what you intended to be done. You vented, you gave a good testimony as a Christian (I am too, btw) and you got me – as a reader – thinking about the topic.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. British Quakers say, Bring into God’s light those emotions, attitudes and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging your need for forgiveness and grace. In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?

    Do not be downhearted! You are aware, you will be cautious, and you will love! God be with you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for commenting. I actually operate a nonprofit. We are trying to make an impact in the lives of at risk youth and their families. Our mission is to reshape the world by reaching, teaching, and releasing others to live, love and serve like Christ. We work with local churches and community organizations and plan to spread abroad when the right opportunity presents itself. I am encouraged because I know where my help comes from.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. usfman says:

    Have you heard of the volunteer organization called Intercultural Outreach Initiative? I am involved with their efforts in the Galápagos Islands. They might be a good source for your services with their education initiative.

    Like

    1. I haven’t heard of them. I will be sure to look them up. Thanks!

      Like

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