It’s been an edgy, uncomfortable time, but I am in a good mood today. I saw a great concert last night, the jam band Railroad Earth, in a loving environment filled with light and balloons. this is coming off of a holiday season filled with friends and family. Our house is cozy and warm. I tend to be a default positive person, and I cannot help but feel happy.
Please forgive me if I sound preachy, but there has been a wringing of hands/end of days mood going on since the election that is driving me crazy. I have a few New Year’s meditations and advice to send out into the world:
- Remember that no matter how heartfelt and valid your opinions are, there are no doubt people in the world–both in this country and in countries that are our supposed enemies, who hold equally heartfelt and valid opinions that are quite different It’s especially important in these divided times to listen to people with an open heart and grant their viewpoint and values the same weight that you do your own. While campaigning for Bernie Sanders last year, I ran into several people who preferred Bernie to Hillary because they thought he was more supportive of their socially conservative views. In reality, his personal views on these issues, such as abortion, were the same as Hillary’s. But what he was doing was validating other, equally respectable beliefs instead of scorning or pitying them. If Hillary had not called half the US population “deplorables”, she might be President today. Also people’s values are not a package deal. They come in many nuanced varieties. Do not presume.
- The means determine the end. I definitely come down on that side of this ancient philosophical debate. If you wouldn’t overlook political malfeasance in the Republican party, not to speak of foreign countries (ie Russian hacking) don’t overlook it in the Democratic party. Demand integrity from all entities.
- Think critically. Not every meme blasted about social media is true. For that matter, neither is everything written in the New York Times. Think like the investigative journalists that should be out there.
- Be as strong as you need to be. I don’t know how we will be tested this year. I hope not as much as we think. But whatever we face we are going to need to face it with courage and never be afraid to speak out or take appropriate action.
- Let’s forget about identity politics and concentrate on our shared humanity. We are one little species on one little planet; do our minor differences truly define us? I don’t think so. Every human on this planet deserves their basic needs met, every one deserves to live a meaningful life. Let’s concentrate on that and fight the economic structures that hurt us all and the threats to the environment that endanger us all.
- This is no time for wringing your hands!!! (no time is, really, but especially not difficult times). We cannot control what life throws at us. But we can control our reaction. How strong we are, how understanding, how joyful–these are decisions that are always in our power, every minute of every day. We are resilient beings. We will get through this.
- Happy New Year to everyone!