The crowd hails Hitler's hatred. Most surely harbor a loving heart. Yet, they are afraid to be kind. Fear - love's counterpoint - can force nice people to support horrifying things.
Love, the highest power we know, can lift up any person or group you encounter. Fear can do the opposite.
Peer pressure is as old as civilization & clearly a product of it.
Who decides how you behave? You, right? It turns out that peers have such an impact that some of us can hardly figure out which thoughts are ours & which simply mimic our peers.
Is your closest circle lifting your heart or strangling it? Is their influence causing you to do things you do not believe?
Peer pressure narratives populate literature. There is the cozy New England town portrayed in Peyton Place, like all small towns, a place of love & fear. Neighbors help neighbors through thick & thin or make outcasts out of free thinkers.
A sweet-seeming community can behave like the characters in Hawthorne's masterpiece The Scarlet Letter & drown, by their shunning, anyone who has broken their code.
Peter denied Jesus three times. He feared the crowd.
Your community of fellow caregivers matters here. Do they champion love or drag down those who seek to practice it?
The Good Samaritan bucked peer pressure to help a wounded stranger. The "crowd" was against him. Radical Loving Care is called radical because it stands against fear-driven crowds.
Do people around you demean your beautiful efforts at courage & self compassion or do they diminish the self-care that is critical to your calling?
Who among us has the inner strength to live love, not fear?
Photograph courtesy of Buzzlamp