Tuesday, October 24, 2017
What do we want to win, love or hate?
Thankfully, my motive was pure. Before I did too much harm to myself or the cause, I believe I was spiritually led to two men who ran a successful coalition in New York City campaigning for "smoke-free working environments." They told me, "Instead of being against something bad, be for something good." Even though I was really young and inexperienced, this concept immediately resonated with me. We know now that their campaign worked; no-smoking laws were passed, and even though I was still outrageously angry about anything to do with cigarettes, I learned a more productive way to "fight."
It was about five or six years ago while working on legislation that would help couples divorce amicably, I met a group of fathers who were fighting for parenting equality and more time to spend with their children...something I truly believe in. After one meeting, though, I was blown away by their anger; it was like their words were bullets aiming right at me. And their hostility affected more than their verbiage; it changed their demeanor and thinking; more importantly, it was making them ineffective as activists. In a flashback of discomfort, I suddenly saw what I looked and sounded like all those years ago. I accepted that as truth and the second I did, I realized that my pain-twisted perspective was gone! I knew exactly how to help them change their approach: "Being against ex-wives, lawyers, judges, and the establishment will not work," I told them, "but being for love of family and children will!"
My story of hope and change came to mind this week because we as a country are witnessing and experiencing the same emotions of anger, hurt, fear, and helplessness. And the people sitting in it are outwardly expressing these emotions as extreme intolerance towards anyone not thinking and feeling like themselves; some even moving into a state of hatred. They might not realize, though, how it is alienating more people from their "cause" than it is attracting, and they are unwittingly pushing away the very thing (better leadership) they are claiming to want. Anger is good when manipulated properly. It gives us a certain bravado, and it does get us to move. But read anything written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and you will see, righteous indignation without love and tolerance won't accomplish a better-than-anger-hate-and-intolerance result.
Pople who have successfully manipulated out of painful negative emotions and into first acceptance and then tolerance, love, and forgiveness...They realize the immense gain. They also know they obtained it through the pain! The actual act of manipulating back to love is like exercise for the soul, and that is what gives us more innate power, protection, perception, wisdom, vision, and potential to create positive forward movement. And it is through these moments of authenticity that we gain the clarity to know an ego can never change an ego! Only the soul can do that. We innately know we have to love more and hate less to get more love and less hate. So...
Understanding that we don't have control over others, only ourselves, we can decide to be an example of appropriate human behavior people would want to follow. We can speak, live, and exemplify the conduct we want to see; not what we don't want to see. Best case scenario: We can accept this as the perfect time in history for each one of us to realize our soul's desire to live up to our love potential. We can back down from ego and recognize that the good fight is real, and it is not with each other or our president or any other country or ideology. It is with ourselves. Let's remember that historically speaking, hate never won...ever...so why are we trying to make it a winner now?