This has been a tough year and a difficult election season. I think I speak for many of my fellow Americans when I say we are tired of the nasty, mean spirited smear campaigns that have been a hallmark of American politics for quite a few decades. We long for an atmosphere where groups of people who believe very differently can have honest and respectful discussions about the differences. And, finally, at the polls, the voice of the American people will be heard.
Regardless, this election is now past us and the real question is how are we going to move forward? We seem to be becoming more deeply divided as a nation. The gap between rich and poor is growing and the disrespect for other religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientation seems to be more prevalent and violent. This all saddens me deeply. We are all connected to the human race. regardless of our differences, we belong to each other. None of us is non-human! Though in anger and frustration we sometimes dehumanize our opponents, that is a more anxious mode of being, not a mature, wise position.
I would like to offer some thoughts of hope moving forward as we begin 2017 with a new president and a new group of folks in DC who seem to be in power. Because the character of my leadership matters to me much more than his or her policy positions, (as goes the leader so goes the nation), I am personally saddened that a person who is seemingly so angry, disrespectful to women, and dislikes so many different groups of people has been chosen by so many to be our President. But, that is not the point. The point is how do I act and live on a day to day basis regardless of my leadership. If we as Americans, as humans, keep meeting anger with anger and vitriol with vitriol, we add more fuel to a fire that is already burning too strongly and if we continue to feed it, will at some point consume us all.
It is time to stop name calling and attacking each other. It is time to stop fighting, band together and find out what we have in common within our shared humanity. We all grieve and laugh and hope and dream. We all deserve the same chances and opportunities to do these things.
Click the link Human Contact experience for a wonderful, short video that shows what people all over the world are doing to try to reconnect us to our commonality and our sense of belonging to each other. It is called the human connection experience. Strangers are coming together in parks and city squares all over the world to sit and silently and respectfully gaze into each other’s eyes for a few minutes. Watch and see the powerful results. “True connection is our pathway to peace!”
My hope for the future is that we stop focusing on fighting each other and our differences, that we begin to focus on our own inner worlds and our own attitudes and behaviors. We have the choice each day to brighten the world around us a tiny bit more. Or, we can darken it by our words, attitudes, and behaviors. How each of us acts on a daily basis MATTERS greatly. I know I keep quoting Barbara Fredrickson but her books and research are so powerful and compelling. We can make our inner worlds more peaceful, improve our body’s health, decrease our anxiety while increasing our sense of love and wellbeing, just by having small but regular positive encounters with other human beings. People we know, and even with total strangers as you saw on the video. Love 2.0 is wonderful, read it if you have not. It has brought me so much hope for life and the future. Humans are amazing, they are wonderful, adaptable and resilient. We can bring change to our nation over time by the power of our positive and loving choices.
Let us show whoever is sitting in the “power seats” in DC this kind of true power. Our personal power to chose life and hope and love. Our choices to be a bright light in the world, to be kind to those we find easy to love and to those who are our polar opposites. A nation can help change its leadership, by their collective voices and their repeated actions. South Africa no longer is ruled by apartheid and racial hatred.
So whether you voted for Trump or Clinton, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, Green, or any other party, look at your own life and your own choices as we move toward 2017. Remind yourself and your loved ones of our shared humanity, of our commonality as human beings. The more we try to understand differences the less the differences frighten us. As you know from my many blogs, anxious and frightened people are not acting our of their best selves. Fear changes us negatively. So let us approach 2017 with hope and a renewed desire for our ability to find good, do good, and experience the good of living in America. I am grateful to belong to this nation and share my citizenship with you all, regardless of the issues and struggles we face.
1;) What emotions and sensations were you experiencing on 11/8 as you watched the news? What are you experiencing now? Do you feel hope or fear about the future?
2:) What helps you remember that we belong to the human race? What inner resources support you when you deal with people who are very different from you?