A week or so ago, someone who I was once in love with invited me to like a Facebook page. The Facebook page was that of a Fox News anchor.
Let me preface this by explaining that I loathe Fox News. CAN. NOT. STAND IT. I feel like there is nothing more angry, hateful, and judgmental in the entire land of media. And it just doesn’t resonate with me…I can’t be called a conservative, republican, or right-winger.
That ain’t me, babe
So I got this Facebook invite and my first thought was “oh dear God…he watches, promotes even, Fox-freaking-News??!?!? Thank goodness the door closed on that relationship.”
Then one second later, I thought “WHOA, Danielle. Whoa. That’s not a cool thought to have.”
(And good grief, I just realized I made a Bob Dylan reference a second ago and it was this same dude having a Bob Dylan ringtone that first intrigued me about him…well, I guess that just furthers my point here.)
And that point really is that our commonality far outweighs our differences, and separation is a tragic illusion. This is a person I was once romantically involved with in a very intense way and all of the sudden I was going to shift from holding him in a place of love (albeit no longer even slightly romantic) to a place of separation because of the news outlet he watches???
How could I allow that in my heart? How could I be a person who allows a sense of disconnection with another being over their media choices and/or political affiliation?
Or when I see people being all pro-Hillary or pro-Elizabeth, I am like “YEAH MAN! Go girl, you and me are on the same team!”
Then I see people promoting their opposition and I get confused because for some reason, I thought better of them before that?
WHAT??? WHY??? How does that make any sense??
It doesn’t make sense…
I hate politics. I hate the division it creates.
I hate seeing people that I have always perceived as loving, accepting, and incredibly kind, suddenly promoting reactionary ideals or going off on strongly-worded tangents about liberals and progressive candidates.
But the issue is that what I hate more than that, is that I hate it at all.
I am bothered by the fact that my perception of someone can be swayed by their personal beliefs. Because that just should not be the case.
I saw someone share a picture of a sign the other day that read (and I quote):
I ain’t voting for Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife.
Seriously, that’s what it said. And it irritated me. To begin with, the gross lack of intelligence necessary to compose that sentence…can we please be better users of language than this?
But more importantly, what kind of message is that???
What does that say about us as a society? That 17 years later, we’re bringing up a scandal in an effort to target a woman who was, arguably, the victim of said scandal?
And this is the kind of stuff that is going to get passed around like candy for the next 19 months or so. Unless we take a higher road.
People are going to get in online arguments that they would never have face-to-face. People we love and respect are going to come out in support of the side that we are against and we may think less of them for it. We’re going to put up giant, imaginary walls between ourselves and our friends and our family, over politics.
And I hate that.
I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to put up walls. I don’t want to be surprised when someone I love reveals their political positioning. I don’t want to see the hate and the arguments and the separation. I don’t want that.
I want to see humanity come together. I want to see us stop forcing our personal principles on other people. I want to function completely from a place of oneness and love and honor. I want to see the word NAMASTE come to life. I want to be the word NAMASTE come to life…
I hate the separation that politics creates. I hate that even I am apparently still trapped in that separation.
Never again do I want my view of someone I truly love changed in any way over the fact that they believe differently than I do.
- I want conservatives and liberals to LOVE EACH OTHER.
- I want republicans and democrats to LOVE EACH OTHER.
- I want the religious and the atheist to LOVE EACH OTHER.
- I want the “red states” and the “blue states” to LOVE EACH OTHER.
Because LOVING EACH OTHER is the answer to all the problems that the whole world fights over. Love is always the answer.
I remember this other person that I once knew and loved – and sadly I don’t know him anymore, he was kind of a conspiracy theorist and eventually dropped off the grid – but he did this thing…
You know some years back when we shifted from shaking hands to fist-bumping? Well, when someone would go to fist-bump him, he would open up his hand so that their fist ended up in his palm and his fingers wrapped over the top of their hand.
I asked him about it once and he said “Baby D…if we open our hands instead of closing them when people do that, eventually we’ll all be holding hands” and I remember thinking how deeply meaningful that was. It was probably one of the most profound things I have ever been told. That was 16 years ago and I haven’t forgotten it. I never will.
So what if rather than turning away from one another, or even fist-bumping one another – what if we instead opened our hands?
And opened our hearts?
What if we didn’t even bother with political position and instead JUST LOVED?
There’s many times in the coming months that we’ll have the opportunity to hide behind a screen and engage in disastrous argument. Many times that we’ll have the opportunity to judge another person because they think differently than we do. Many times that our friends and loved ones will take a stance quite opposite of our own, and that may be confusing.
So what if we used those times, each and every one of them, whether digitally or physically, to open our hands? To value the other person’s humanity and heart? To see the beauty in diversity and maybe even learn something from it? What if we didn’t identify ourselves as one group or the other, but instead as uniquely-created yet deeply-connected beings of one perfect source?
What if we allow each other to be as we are without developing any judgement about it?
Ram Dass said this:
“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
The same is true for all of the natural world. We do not say this mountain is better than that one, or this lake is better, or this river is better, or this canyon, valley, waterfall, whatever it is – is better. We do not create walls and separation in those things. We value all of it, we appreciate all of it. We see the importance and greatness in all of it.
Are we not just as much a part of this incredibly beautiful creation as all of those things are?
Of course we are.
So I am committing myself to work on treating people the way I treat the wild world we live in.
Will you join me?
Let’s not create walls and separation as if some ideas, positions, beliefs, or understandings are better than others.
Let’s not allow the next couple years to divide us. Let’s work to be one.
© Danielle Hewitt (of Loving A Fit Life) and DanielleHewitt.com (including LovingAFitLife.com) 2011 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Danielle Hewitt and DanielleHewitt.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.