Thursday, November 8, 2012
Which way to acceptance?
The election is over at last. I, for one, feel tremendous relief and also as if I now have access to a lot of energy that was focused on the campaign. When energy is trapped, it spoils, gets rancid. In the case of politics, trapped energy inevitably turns bitter, then biting and at last, vicious.
It's a human trait to long for perfection in oneself as well as others. Of course there is no such thing as perfection, hence we judge ourselves and one another on a daily basis, reserving the most intense forms of that way of thinking for public figures including, of course, those who rule the roost.
Judging hardens the heart, stiffens the jaw and closes the mind. It is isolating and demoralizing. It's not good for us physically or spiritually, and yet, it's tempting to go to that place. I've been wondering why, especially during the last few months when the mood in the U.S. became so dangerously angry.
My theory du jour revolves around the idea that we are still, in so many ways, social predators who feel safe only when we know our place in the hierarchy of the pack. Judging seems to me (this morning anyway) a way in which we try to find our place in the human hierarchy. We are challenging the alpha when we decide he or she is not as deserving or noble as we think he or she should be.
The above is a half-formed idea that needs fleshing out. I might have to toss it entirely. Probably more to the point would be a contemplation of how we might go about unhinging the tendency towards judgment. How can we create a self satisfied feeling without blaming ourselves or others? Because, we love feeling self satisfied, we do.
How can we dismantle the Us vs. Them mentality that has, throughout human history, caused nothing but trouble?
May we holster our weapons, take deep breaths, and find a better way. May it be so! Shalom.