Knowing the world is always better than we think doesn’t mean you don’t have preferences or are apolitical. It only means you are cultivating an eye for the good around you and are drawing a circle of attention large enough to include the good along with everything else.
With some of what is currently in the public consciousness–mass shootings, elections, climate change, terrorism–it is easy to lose heart. It is more challenging right now to notice all the good that is happening side by side with the crap.
However, noticing the good isn’t an approach of reframing reality as we perceive it. It is expanding what all we perceive. For instance, I can notice Trump’s racist speech. And I can notice the phenomenal conversations I had the privilege of having with two awesome women yesterday at my favorite coffee shop! I can feel the horror of the Orlando massacre at the same time as feeling grateful for the generous help two friends gave me in defining what I want to do (a blog post to follow). I can be heartbroken for the gay community over the assault in Orlando while marveling at the beauty of today’ s cloud-scape in Seattle.
It is a matter of not trying to resolve the cognitive dissonance (the dissonance felt when having opposing experiences). We can be happy and sad, angry and joyous all in the same day. We can hate what someone does–wanting to ban all Muslims, protecting guns–and still see and acknowledge that they are part of our humanity, rather than “othering” them. By that, I mean, for example, that people like Trump and Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA) have the same divine spark within them as everyone else.
How can that be? Because of perspective. Perspective causes you to judge what you and others do. From those people’s perspective, they are doing the right thing. For example, Trump gives voice to some of the people who don’t feel they’ve been heard and considered lately. Their pain and and ire for being marginalized in an increasingly progressive country is deep and real. LaPierre is seen by many as someone who helps people protect themselves. I believe they are wrong but I don’t believe they are bad or sub-humanfor arming themselves.
I oppose these Trump’s and LaPierre’s rehtoric and actions but I love them as my brothers. It is of no consequence to me whether they love me back or not. I won’t deny their humanity because that is who I am and who I want to be. But I sure as heck hope we will collectively deny their ambitions (becoming President, arming more and more Americans). In other words, we can deny Trump, LaPierre, terrorists, etc., but we don’t have to hate them and dehumanize them. We can draw a circle around them and include them without being permissive or apathetic toward them.
Yesterday someone told me my blog is too political. Today many friends assured me it’s all right to be true to myself and say what’s on my mind. Not to reframe, but it does come to mind that had I not been chastised, I wouldn’t have reached out and gotten all this support for which I am so grateful. Thank you friends, thank you world.
I want to pay forward all that encourage. I invite you to take heart and look upon the world and see what is needed and take the action that is right for you. Whatever you contribute is meaningful. And I invite you to notice that goodness is all around you. Love and Blessings.
INKSHOT NO.59 | SEATTLE | JUNE 16, 2016
India Susanne Holden is the author of The World Is Better than You Think—Developing an eye for the good around you. She is a speaker, seminar leader, certified Reiki practitioner, and certified life coach.
Author’s Note: I write this blog to uplifting, inspiring, and show that the world is always better than we think. If you enjoy the Inkshots please consider supporting this blog by commenting and linking back to it to make it easier for others to find it in Internet searches. Blessings, India