Life is fully of actions and reactions and the consequences of those things.
I was sitting staring out the window the other morning in a haze of jet lag and too much coffee and I began to think about something that had recently happened with a friend. I thought about the circumstances, the words used, the things done, and I wondered- did I ACT in that situation or was I merely REACTING to it?
Allow me to explain...
Reactions are a knee-jerk response to something in our surroundings. We flinch when we hear a door slam, we jump when we get scared, we get goosebumps when it's cold, that sort of thing... but emotional reactions can be dangerous indeed. When we snap at someone who is annoying us, when we shut down because we don't want to deal with something, when we get angry or defensive... these reactions have very real consequences and more often not one of the consequences is that someone gets hurt.
On the other hand, when we take action we are saying to the world, "I will face this head on, I will act in the face of 'X' and come out the other side"... does that make sense? We choose our actions more carefully, we dwell on the repercussions and consequences before we say or do anything, giving us the upper hand in the situation.
Obviously there are exceptions to the rules and we can't help but behave in a certain way from time to time (i.e. hanger or over-tired rage). Also some reactions are beautiful! Laughter, smiling, crying, dancing... all wonderful reactions to triggers in our surroundings (you better believe if I hear a good beat my body starts moving!). Though we would like to believe we are 100% in control of our beings, I would argue that there are some things we simply can't help. Music gets into your soul, laughter fills your heart, the warmth of loved ones permeates your being with joy and our response is often an involuntary reaction... the key then, I suppose, would be to know yourself, know your actions/reactions. We are not robots with a switch (though at times that would be nice) we are human, we will mess up (a lot) but that is ok... if we never mess up we will never learn right?
So go; be brave, be strong, and act accordingly.
*Photo taken at Deus Ex Machina in Tokyo