It’s About Policies, Platforms and Positions – Not People!
I like you, am an addict! What I mean to say is, when we differ in our views from the positions another takes regarding a whole host of issues; the environment, equality of the sexes, LGBTQ rights, political correctness, capital punishment, capitalism and the list goes on almost ad infinitum, we so very naturally make it about the person and not about their policy, platform and position (PPP). It’s our dope. It’s so very intoxicating. We get such a rush from indulging it. It’s delicious to our most base self. We personally make it about THEM, a frontal assault upon their dignity, their worth.
Let me be very clear. We most definitely ought to be voraciously speaking out against all those things that run counter, in our view, to the heart of the Divine, but we must do so without making it about the authors of such things, for they too were created in the image of the Divine. We must resist the temptations, the cravings of the beast that lurks within that reminds us how delicious it will taste when we feed. When we make it about THEM, are our actions any better than those who do the same? It’s not about them. It’s always about “PPP.” It’s always about the plank in our heart and not the twig in the eye of another.
Why is it that we feel compelled to make it about THEM? Is it so that we might become elevated in our own heart and in our own eyes? Does it say more about us than about them? Can it be that they have something that we envy, that we covet? Think about any person that you tend to run down? Why is it that it feels so good? Is this how you get even for misgivings of the past? The tongue is a powerful weapon. As long as we make it about THEM, we remain an integral part of the problems that have poisoned our world and not a part of the solution, a hoped-for heaven on earth for all.
These men and women who we speak out against are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, grand-fathers and grand-mothers. Were we always at the place we find ourselves today, having made the progress that we’ve made, or was it transformative over years? Did we always see as we see today or did Grace pour out Mercy upon Mercy upon us? We must practice a new and better paradigm, a new discipline so that a new habit forms in our hearts – and it will. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” We must choose to starve this insatiable hunger if we’re ever to know a mastery over this. Not that our natural self can ever gain dominion over this but the Divine inside, the non-dualistic mind, can and will. This is the only way our world will be freed from the ravages of inequity, cruelty, wars, greed, abuse and a litany of others. We need to take a bold stand against “PPP,” not people. We’re called to love THEM.
Earlier this week, I was speaking to my wife Fran about certain “PPP” the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is currently espousing. When I finished speaking, I realized that I had been railing against the “PPP” and not the person. It made me feel good – about me. It was a different “high” than the one I’d experienced when I made it about people. I felt that my heart had somehow expanded to make room for something new. It felt so good. There was no sense of needing to exalt myself at the expense of others. A new and better habit was forming. I felt it in my Spirit. It is the “PPP” I want changed, not the person behind it. That’s a work of the Spirit. Earlier that same day, I found myself about to disparage a person – but I caught myself in the nick of time. I had a choice at that moment. I could have continued down the road I’d travelled for years but I chose not to. Every time we choose the road less travelled, we chip away at the cancer gripping a world that desperately needs changing.
When we choose to make it about THEM, we may find ourselves inadvertently thwarting the plans of the Divine. We ask ourselves,”How could THAT possibly be the work of the Divine?” Doesn’t She/He say “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts?” How much loftier are the plans and purposes of the Divine beyond us finding out? In the foolishness of our hearts we might ask, “How could it possibly please the Divine to do Her/His bidding through a person such as THAT? How patently arrogant – and I refer to THEM as prideful? Who am I? Is the Divine not just as mindful of the one I would so easily disparage? Would that instead of being their adversary, I would be their mentor. Would that we never forget the hole we crawled out of.
As we consider a doctrine of “PPP,” we should also understand that it also applies to us. We need to cut ourselves some serious slack. It’s never about perfection but rather, progress. Yes, when something goes awry, we make it about us. We personalize it. We aren’t the problem. When we’ve done something that has offended another, we ought not to say “I’m sorry.” That’s a state of being, a condition. We’re not sorrowful beings, something to be despised. We were lovingly created by the Creator of the Universe. Rather, we ought to say, “I apologize.” That’s an attitude expressing humility, a posture reflecting the very best of us.
Our political leaders (I was just about to refer to them as so-called leaders) in these United States seem to be virtually incapable of framing their disagreements with “the other side of the aisle” as “PPP” but rather, appear to be wholly comfortable with making it about THEM, the person, taking aim at the very core of the other’s humanity, their significance. I’ve never been more convinced of our need to start over with beginner’s minds. There would be one central tenet. At no time, would it ever be about THEM. Any violation would result in their immediate removal from the process. We say our politics is broken. So are we. We are no better. We elect those we view to be mirrors of ourselves, those who have the influence and power to reach and therefore denigrate those people we consider to be lesser, as if the blood that travels through their veins were tainted. Where does the healing begin? With me. With you. It will take courage to carry the mantle that it’s not about people. It’s about “PPP.” If only 1 hears that message and carries it abroad, the multiplication effect will literally mean global transformation. When our focus is on people and we brand them a mistake, couldn’t the same have been said about me, about you, in another season of life? When we’re in the company of others and the discussion gets around to making it about people, we must refrain from entering that conversation, showing them a better way, a higher way, a path to healing. It’s the way that leads to the light and away from the dark.
“He/she that needs to be right, is in a prison of their own creation!”
When it’s only about “PPP,” the potential for making global progress always exists. When it’s about people, advancement is choked off.
“The best avenues of communication, has traffic moving in both directions!”
For most, this is a new paradigm. We simply must escape the tyranny of making this about our brothers and sisters. When others attempt to make it about US, we must resist the lure, the venom that cries out to be avenged. We need to model what progress looks like. So, the closing argument looks like this – are we going to be self-less agents for positive change in our world, mirroring the all-vulnerable God, or are we going to continue indulging our insatiable sordid lusts, all designed to diminish those who’s positions from our perspective are untenable. The future of our planet may depend on how we all answer that question.