“…that the sage awakes to light in the night of all creatures. That which the world calls day is the night of ignorance to the wise..” –The Bhagavad Gita
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” –Buddha
“When you feel the suffering of every living thing in your own heart, that is consciousness.” –The Bhagavad Gita
“I won’t let others stoke fear in my heart. I choose to remain true to who I am and where my dreams direct me, no matter the hardship I might incur. I remember it always: Fear wins or Freedom wins, and I choose Freedom.” –Brendon Burchard from page 49 of his book The Motivation Manifesto
As you might guess from all the quotes I chose today, I’m trying to make sense of what happened with the elections. I’m not too proud to say I was devastated, then angry and afraid. What’s going to happen to all the gains we’ve made in the last six years? I wanted to punch someone, scream … and yell at God, “How could you let this happen?” Then quiet-calm came over me and I started to think more clearly.
We have a choice: We can follow the old us-against-them paradigm, OR we can turn away from that idea and create a grass-roots peaceful revolution and build a completely new society. We can continue to live in fear and think that those with the external power are stronger than those of us without it, OR we can look around our communities and find something that we have the power to address, roll up our sleeves and get to work. We can be cynical, my personal favorite when bad things happen, OR we can turn away from calling those who don’t agree with us all manner of nasty names, and just send them love. I’m choosing love.
A dear college friend of mine, Marjie Siegfried Foster, posted a similar manifesto on Facebook on Friday. Here’s what she wrote: “It is not okay to label people and then insult them. When we call any group of people names – those ‘stupid Democrats’ or those ‘hateful Republicans’ or ‘those lazy people on welfare’ or ‘those bigoted whites/blacks/immigrants’ or whatever – we are calling our neighbors, family members, friends, and colleagues those names. Would you really look me in the eye and call me stupid or hateful or lazy, just because I happen to ‘belong’ to one of the narrowly-defined demographic groups that’s been created by the media or by a political party or by you? Or do you have the courage to get to know me, to love me despite (or because of) our differences, to understand that it is our diversity that creates opportunities for collaboration? The polarizing name-calling, the labeling, the vitriolic language … all serve no purpose other than creating more division, building more walls, and hurting our fellow human beings. What happened to United We Stand? I’m standing here. Who stands with me on this?”
Marjie stated so beautifully exactly what I was feeling. Take a moment to think: Who benefits from the divisions we’re experiencing now? Do you really want those who hate and fear to have the power? We’ve been hypnotized into thinking our darker feelings are so much stronger, but they’re not. Love and light are so much more powerful. We can help dispel the darkness by facing our own fears, turning toward the light, and sending love and light out into the world.
To help make the change in the world, I’m resolved to change my thinking isn’t going to happen over night. I know from experience that I’ll fall back into name calling. When that happens, I’ll have to acknowledge what I’ve done and make a conscious effort to change my outer and inner dialogue. I can’t get away from the fact that, I am the only one in charge of my actions and thinking. My real power, and yours lies in taking control of our actions and our thinking. So, I’m going to use my authentic power to stop being cynical. I’m going to stop calling people I don’t agree with names, even in the privacy of my head. I’m going to search out opportunities to get to know my neighbors and I’m going to help solve problems in my community. And finally, every day, I’m going to send Reiki and prayers of love to our country and the people who run it. As Gandhi said, I’m going to be the change I want to see in the world. Will you join Marjie and me?
One last quote for your consideration: “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth. –William Faulkner. I’ll keep raising my “voice” every week in this blog.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2014
2 thoughts on “Cynical No More”
It is so difficult, buts know you are right. Is it name calling, though, to say that some are greedy? Or is that just reality? I mean, once someone has seven million annually, isn’t it greedy to take more while continue paying minimum wage, or to run what almost amounts to slave labor camps in third world countries? Is that not immoral? And if it is immoral, is it not okay to say that the person’s actions are immoral?
Or maybe that is the distinction: instead of me calling the person greedy and immoral, I could at least begin to say that his actions are greedy and immoral. I suppose that is a step in the right direction,
Emilie, in all my study of spiritual traditions and texts I’ve begun to see that I have no right to say anything about the choices of another person. To deepen my connection to the Divine, and to heal myself, I must let go of judgement. When I do that, I’m trusting that God is in control. I have no idea the details of the contract anyone else has with God for this time period, or this lifetime. I’m still trying to figure out my own contract, or purpose. So, my answer is, the only way I can see to changing the situation is to stop blaming and judging that greedy person, and calling them immoral. Because, as I know from personal experience, when someone calls me names, I get pigheaded and vow not to change.
That doesn’t mean i don’t do what I can to make the world a better place, it just means, I’m helping bring about change through love rather than condemnation. I hope that answers your question.