“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here we go again! Another controversy. Only it’s not about some dirty dealings by a politician or scandal about a celebrity. Nope! Ellen DeGeneres was NICE to George W. Bush at the Dallas Cowboy’s game! And she got a lot of online flack for that. Really!? One online news commentator said her behavior was disgusting. It was disgusting because George W. Bush, in her opinion, was a war criminal. I’ve never heard anyone say that being kind to someone was disgusting behavior.
Here’s what Ellen had to say about it, “When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter.”
That’s an idea and practice I can get behind. Now that doesn’t mean I’m perfect at it. I catch myself saying unkind things, even if it’s only to the TV, or the driver who cut me off. But I am getting better at recognizing when it happens, that when I send out nasty energy, it’s going to come back and stick to me at some point. So, I ask for those nasty thoughts and words to be taken back or transformed. One way I do that is to imagine what it’s like to be that other person. That makes it easier for me to be kind.
I want to only send out love and kindness because that’s how we change the world.
After hearing about the attacks on Ellen, I continued to think about why some people want to tear others down instead of build them up. My dad used to say, “Wounded people, need to wound other people. They think it will make them feel better.” I agree with dad, but I think there is something else going on. We come into this world with what Caroline Myss calls our “Sacred Contract”. And I think there are three basic categories of contracts or points of view when it comes to human interactions. There are the adherents to the Old Testament, eye for an eye, vengeful God, we carry out God’s judgment, kind of people. There are the New Testament, God is love, love thy neighbor as thyself, those who are without sin cast the first stone, kind of people. And there are those that mash up some Old Testament teachings with the new teachings of Jesus.
To be fair to people who are not of the Christian persuasion, maybe I should categorize these groups as those who think they have the mandate of the Divine Being to carry out His judgment, those who follow the path of pure love, and those who mix love with judgment.
I first became aware of these three points of view while I was getting my Religious Studies degree, though I couldn’t articulate the differences then. As I’ve done my own personal work, I’ve had time to think more deeply about what attitudes and beliefs make us who we are.
For millennia we’ve lived in a world that is clearly not in the love thy neighbor category. But that might be changing. To help good triumph over evil, maybe we should follow Ellen DeGeneres example and try to love one another, because I think we can all agree the world is a pretty messed up place right now. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not go on as we have been.
The thing that impresses me about Ellen is that she must have done a great deal of personal work to be able to show love to people who criticize her. I say this because she gives love so freely, and seems to let all the flack that comes her way roll off her back. She doesn’t let it shake her resolve to continue to show kindness to everyone she meets. That takes a strong person. It’s so easy to slide into condemnation. It’s harder, or maybe it takes more discipline, to show compassion, kindness, and love no matter what.
Here’s what I’ve learned doing my own personal work. When I get upset with someone, I’m not really angry at them. I’m angry at the ugly part of myself I see in their actions or attitudes. What others do, holds up a mirror in front of my face and shows me something I don’t want to acknowledge about my own foibles.
So, if we really want to change the world, we have to take a good long look at ourselves and accept that we’ve made some pretty big mistakes. We have to realize that no one who has ever lived, except maybe one or two, have lived a spotless life. We have to acknowledge our mistakes and love ourselves anyway, because only then can we love everybody else. And this may be difficult to wrap your head around, but God doesn’t judge us. She/He loves us no matter what. We all go to heaven.
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Have a fun weekend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.