A few days ago I got to sit with an old friend who happens to describe himself as “a liberal-conservative”. I must also warn you that he believes Rush Limbaugh is “right 99.9% of the time” and that he is a very “wise and knowledgeable man”. So, depending on which side of the scales of morality you sit on, this will either be an agreeable or a disagreeable statement to you. Either way it gives you a pretty clear indication of what I was dealing with. But, I really desire to expand my mind, keep it open and hear all sides of an issue – because no matter how much I see something as insanely wrong, i know the the person who believes it, really and truly believes in what they believe. Just like I do. So, if what they believe is “inconceivable to me”, then it’s me who is missing something, not them. My job is not to change anyone’s opinion but to allow everyone to live as they are while still maintaining my own beliefs which include:
Non interference. I don’t care what you believe in as long as you don’t hurt anything.
On the other hand if you DO intentionally cause harm, then I also feel it is incumbent on me and all of us, to disallow and repair this harm. Eg: American Slavery, Treatment of First Nations People, ecologically irresponsible natural resource extraction, treatment of wildlife…this is a very long potential list. You get the picture.
If we can allow, we can also step in when something is truly fundamentally wrong. Like – extracting more coal from the earth. This is CLEARLY a bad idea for the planet. The fact that it contributes nothing positive to the earth that supports us, should naturally extricate it from consideration as a resource for humans, by default. So, why is it still being pursued?
Because throughout our evolution we have prioritized comfort and self gain over the planet.
Some beliefs are difficult to questioned and must be recognized at least, by each person: we must become consciously aware of what we believe and why we believe it.
In your discovery of your own beliefs (from the heart) as opposed to opinions (of the mind), you will find beliefs come from a soulful place, and certain things will always remain inconceivable to you. For example, war will never be ok with me. There is no rationalization for war. There can never be a “good reason”. You can’t Shawn Spicer away any war, they are all bad – for me.
But, my opinion on universal healthcare – is something more elastic. Something that requires room for growth and further understanding. There are ideas in our minds that must always be questioned. But when we enter a “fundamental” approach to life – through religion, or political culture – we eliminate the questioning and become pre-programmed without plasticity and allowance for individuality. We become soldiers of a belief system which does not represent us.
Leaving ourselves open to really engaging and hearing the other side, has the two fold positive effect of allowing us to maybe take in more useful information, or it can substantiate what we have already come to understand about the world.
We cannot be FUNDAMENTALLY anything, because everyone believes what they believe based on a lifetime of their own experiences, and no religion, political system or even culture will completely support what we as individuals have come to see and understand from our own particular lenses. That’s why communism doesn’t work – its why it is fundamentally unfair to the human spirit; because it does not allow for the individuality of a person and all of their understanding to flow freely through their life choices.
Fundamentalism in politics, business, religion and culture no longer have a positive or productive value for human beings.
The man I spoke to who is a supporter of Trump seemed to be adamant in his belief that the “left wingers” were responsible for all of the violence happening around the planet, indeed, and that all of the protestors that we are seeing for climate change, the pipe line, the women’s march for example, are all paid and bought for by private interest organizations.
Yes a perfectly intelligent person said this to me.
Of course you would not believe me if I aid he was a minority, or short or poor, fat, gay or a woman – you know, any of those things that make you sensitive to the needs of the world. No, he is a half-read, fully brainwashed and fear based representative of a massive number of people who believe
1- that the country they live in owes them a certain lifestyle
2- that this lifestyle does not include anyone who does not look are act like them
3- that isolating people based on their beliefs or cultural values makes some sort of sense to them
4- building walls is the solution to a moral problem they themselves have created
There is a cloud of paranoia covering this country which is beyond description and magnificently terrifying and its starting to make my country stink. I’d like it to stop right now.
How will it stop?
Well like other kinds of dysfunctional family squabbles, such is the relationship between the United States and Canada. the United States right now is like the drunk uncle who shows up every single Christmas, and predictably gropes you and all your cousins. That is the united states right now, and its pretty much how Canada is feeling I suppose.
Remember how in the Walton’s whenever they had a big fight over little Ben would go out missing in the woods and get surrounded by wolves, or Elizabeth would have a temper tantrum and run into an electrical storm atop a mountain? The point is, the family had to work together!
And that’s what is goign to happen here – with four famines rising up in our world, there will come a point where we cannot ignore the real and terrible things that we could be alleviating if we could just focus our thinking in the right direction – towards each other.
The good news about all this is NOW you know what it looks like, acts like, sounds likes – and how it makes decisions based on fear, and disillusionment.
Consider creating some personal guidelines and become aware about what you support:
If it increases hate – don’t support it.
If it decreases health in communities – don’t support it
If it can cause harm to the planet – don’t support it
If it creates tiers of advantage – don’t support it
If it causes war and people to die – DO NOT support it
If it hoards things we have too much of when other people need it – Don’t support it
Basic rules. Compassion we all have and can easily access. And anyone who believes even ONE of them to be true, cannot support Donald Trump.
The bottom line is that we need not support anything that doesn’t not support us. WE are the living things on this planet.
There are VERY VERY few human examples of people like Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong whats-his-face. Thank whatever God you believe in that this is true.
And there are a hell of allot more people like you and me, who want health and happiness and are willing to live a more simple life so that the whole world can get better. We who are willing to open our minds and our communities to those that need help. We who are willing to share our food, time and talents to increase the “happiness quotient” of this planet.
We who are willing to live together.