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By projecting our inaction to the world, we contribute to the reduction of the world

I recently learned, while reading a book written by James Mallon, that the consequence of inaction is not just to allow a problem to get worse or an adverse situation to get out of control. The consequence goes beyond the loss of goods, money, opportunities or health. The worst consequence of inaction is something much deeper.

According to Mallon (and we agree), the consequence of inaction is accepting the external world as it is and, at the same time, separating our inner reality from that outer reality. In other words, when we project our impotence to the world, we contribute to making the shared world in which we live smaller and, in fact, more chaotic.

But, if we are honest with ourselves (a rarity in our times), we must admit that all of us project our internal conflicts in the outside world, assuming that the problem is "out there" and not within us and, on that basis, we decide to do nothing, believing that there is nothing we can do. 

Let me share a couple of examples to illustrate this situation.

A few days ago, a person told me that two young children he knows found a photograph, clearly already ruined, on the floor outside their school.

For fun, they drew mustaches and lines on the face of the man who appeared in the picture, a man they didn't recognize. And then, to increase the fun, they left the photograph in a tree away from school, but visible to other students.

The next day, upon returning to their classroom, both children were brought before the school principal, whom they had to listen to for long minutes while the principal accused them of having disrespected a former teacher of the establishment. For that lack of respect, the children were sanctioned.

Obviously, the children knew nothing about the former teacher. They only found an old and abandoned photograph. And, clearly, the problem with the former teacher was in the mind of the director of the school, who projected his problems to the children. The director's inability to act according to the situation, that is, his inaction, increased the negativity of the situation.

And I personally know the case of an 11-year-old girl at a school near Denver who was arrested by police officers, handcuffed and taken to a patrol car after a teacher called the police to report the girl for "destruction" of an object inside the school.

The only thing the girl had done was to put her hand on the teacher's desk and, in doing so, break a chocolate bar that the teacher had there. Again, the inability of the teacher to act appropriately led her to project her problems and her helplessness over a clearly innocent girl.

The examples could be multiplied, but it’s not necessary. It is clear that our inability to detach from our own internal inability leads us to project a chaotic inaction towards the world, fostering negativity instead of a future of co-creation and coevolution.

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