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Get along through love

August 19, 2016
Bill O'Brien , Shepherdstown Chronicle

This month Wise Guyde turns attention to the topic: how can we all get along with each other? The other day this witty commentary appeared on Facebook: "Things I will not judge you for: 1) Sexuality, 2) Religion, 3) Race; things I will judge you for: 1) Not signaling while driving, 2) How you treat the wait staff, 3) Which way you place the toilet paper roll." I cannot resist adding: parking your grocery cart in the middle of the aisle while getting lost in reverie before the soup display so that others cannot get around you. I will admit though that this affords a meditator like me the opportunity to practice what I preach by sending Loving Kindness to you. Food Lion as retreat center.

All of this rises to a level of concern in the climate of the current exercise in vitriol known as the 2016 Presidential campaign. Some years ago, well after his presidency, Jimmy Carter commented that the nation had not been this divided since the Civil War. What was true then seems to be still true, especially with one candidate stirring up as much latent hatred in the populace as he thinks will be needed to propel him to the White House. J.D. Vance writing in a much publicized book Hillbilly Elegy explains that the Republican candidate has tapped into the hurt and anger of the working class whites who feel ignored and neglected in the midst of all the ballyhoo about diversity and civil rights. Vance, who is not a Trump supporter, believes that the Democrats need to embrace this group as part of their larger appeal to the marginalized members of our society. It strikes me though that this group is not just marginalized but racist and jingoistic, too.

These latter two traits are signs of low self-esteem. When people feel real bad about themselves, it makes them feel better, at a superficial level, to view some other group as beneath them. To view themselves as members of the "greatest nation on earth" gives their breasts a rare chance to swell with pride.

So how do we get along? We get along by loving each other. We do that by expanding our range of consciousness. As consciousness grows, so does love. Let's use Mr. Trump as an example: Across the spectrum of consciousness the flow would go like this in stages of consciousness: I don't know who Donald Trump is. Oh, that guy up there saying things that appeal to my tribe. I will take a second look at him because I can see beyond my tribe and am willing to learn more about Trump. I have learned more about Trump but he does not appeal to me because the values he espouses are not universal enough for me. I now identify with the whole human race and he is too narrow and divisive. I see him, myself and all creatures as part of one fabric of loving energy. I seek to love him by looking to understand him. I respect him as a human being but will not vote for him. I send out the intention to the Universe that he experience the healing he is apparently in need of.

The main way I know to traverse these stages is through some kind of daily spiritual practice. Other means are keeping a gratefulness journal each day and refraining from judging one another. Centering ourselves with spiritual practice gives us a calm center to return to when we realize our thoughts or feelings have strayed from a loving heart.

Bill O'Brien is a Consciousness Coach. Contact info at www.billobrienconsciousnesscoaching.com.

 
 
 

 

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