How to survive in a “fake news” world.
When emotions run high, trust them only if your mind, body, and spirit is part of the equation.
It is far easier to act on our instinctual choices, led by our emotions, than taking the time to slow down and logically process the information we are exposed to. I will try my best to be as pragmatic and logical when I talk about political topics.
Trump is the president whether we like it or not. The process set forth by our founding fathers have legitimized his assent to power. Now, we can argue back and forth about the effectiveness of our election process, but we will get nowhere. I think a far more productive discussion would be how to calmly and logically deal with our individual views and emotions.
It is no surprise that everyone who have been reading or watching the news lately are all emotionally drained and confused. Regardless of which side you are on.
The problem with politics is it inherently reduces each person as either part of a group or statistics, which according to government textbooks, is far easier and more efficient. The foundation of the system itself requires this mindset. If we all have that clearly stored in our minds, then dealing with political ideas become less inhumane.
Whether we agree with someone or not, they too have a say and are human. They may have gone through a tough life, or have been stunted by their isolated existence, we will never know. The perspective we each posses is shaped by many factors so learning more about the other side on individual basis can often lead to mutual understanding and respect. Judging them will only turn us into the very thing we ourselves are fighting against.
There’s a big difference between recognizing evil actions, and labeling someone as evil. We might not understand them, but have we truly tried? Look, it is so much easier to just judge other people, but it is much more helpful when we work on our own faults. Yes, we must defend those who are persecuted, but for the most part of our history, every unconscious actions we took as species have always produced casualty, even those actions we took to save the innocent. These casualties were produced by, not just individuals that we traditionally view and consider evil, but also by those we consider as reverend or good.
It is in our desire to be certain that hate is born because it is painful and very uncomfortable to deal with the unknown. This same desire is what fuels our never ending problem with extremism in whatever shape or form. For instance, what has happened in Charlottesville is more than just hate. It is our love for comfort, love for certain, and our love for our own ‘happiness’ that has led us to hate those who make us feel less, unvalued, and invalid. We want to validate our identity in whatever means necessary because it is in who we are that we find certainty in our purpose, and what the meaning of life is for us. When we become certain, others are wrong. When we become right, someone has to feel less. Remember, hate is born out of our refusal to ask the question: “What if I’m wrong?”
Every just cause is rooted in our love for each other. Thus conquering hate and fostering the elevation of our humanity.
I do not claim to fully know nor understand what goes through in the minds of those who have extreme views, but I do know the feeling of confusion, lost, solitude, and yearning. I think we begin harboring hate when we become unable to bare the price of our humanity — unable to live in a society that makes us feel unwanted, unloved, and most of all worthless. Without feeling loved, our soul dies. We no longer are able to see the pain in others and the similarity we bare. When we treat hate with hate, nothing will change. We like to think our side is always right, but in doing so, we make others feel even more hate, then we all become evil. Shutting our eyes so we no longer feel our own pain. Loving unconditionally is the answer. Easier said than done, but nonetheless we must try. The alternative is hate, which will turn us into the very same evil we are trying to repudiate.
You can judge me for what I am saying, but ask yourself, are you really conscious of every choice, emotion, thought, and action you make or experience in a moment-to-moment basis. Being kind requires one to walk on a tight rope of mindfulness. Kindness sees the humanity in others and brings those qualities out — not judge, belittle, and treat them in kind with the same cruelty and neglect. People may choose (unconsciously or consciously) to treat others inhumanely, but how we treat them, despite the inhumane actions they’ve taken, will also gauge our humanity.
Thou shalt not kill. — Exodus 20:13
I think as humans, we crave to see the good in others — to connect with and be loved by them. Even if we have been cruel, someone forgave us and helped us see a better way of dealing with our suffering. I might be optimistic in how I see the world, but without optimism, we drown in this world seemingly full of hate.