There have been many hateful ideas, words and acts infused into the 2016 presidential election. And not only have they come from the candidates, but the supporters that follow them as well.
Even the best of us have at one point felt the anger, fear, disgust and the hate while watching the drama unfold. We’re human. We feel these things. However….
How can we come back from this? How can we reclaim trust in not only the government but the world around us?
There have been some who have already offered us an answer.
Here’s one that’s been around for a long time:
Hay Copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Excerpt):
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal….
…It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
And another answer:
It’s not solely the government’s responsibility to create the atmosphere of change, of unity. It’s up to each of us as well. Listen to the words. They’re a wake up call. Living them is a step toward healing. Living them is a step toward putting out the fire of hatred.
Quoting Michael Jackson: If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change.
Just because others aren’t there yet, doesn’t mean you can’t begin to make that change today.
(Sources: YouTube, Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. © 1987 MJJ Productions Inc)
And still more answers:
1 John 4:20 – 4:21
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
“And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
From the Tora
“Do not take revenge, do not bear a grudge against a member of your people, love thy neighbor like yourself.1“
1 Vayikra, Parshas Kedoshim, 19:18.
Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)
Excerpt: …the Torah tells us “to walk in all God’s ways” (Deut. 11:22). Every human being is created in the image of God. That makes God our role model. We try to clone ourselves after the Almighty!
Practical Ways to Emulate God
In describing the mitzvah to walk in God’s ways, the Talmud says: “Just as He is merciful, so you be merciful. Just as He is kind, so you be kind.”
From the teachings of Islam
“But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, The Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this World: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: For Allah loves not those who do mischief.” (28:77)
“Allah forbids you not, With regard to those who Fight you not for (your) Faith Nor drive you out Of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (60:8)”
So it is also that Reiki’s precepts have answers for us.
I will not worry.
Worry is a face of fear. And fear of the unknown, fear of others, fear of what hasn’t even happened yet fuels the fire of anger. Let it go or it will devour you.
I will not anger.
Although it can be useful to spur us to action, uncontrolled anger is useless and moves us further from any constructive, positive results. Again, it will devour you if you don’t transform it into positive channels.
I will be kind to my neighbor and all living things.
Sound familiar? Kindness is contagious. Sure, there will be some people you encounter who will not spread the kindness you offer them. But sowing the seeds of what you want to see in the world begins you.
I will be true to myself and to others. (Or, I will be honest in my work.)
Truthfulness, which apparently has been difficult of late for many, is crucial to building trust.
I will be thankful for my many blessings.
And yes, we do have a great deal to be thankful for. We are, after all, living in one of the greatest countries in the world where freedom reigns. Where else could a protester burn someone in effigy without being hauled off to be imprisoned, tortured or executed? This is FREEDOM.
We take it for granted because it’s part of American life. But there are so many other countries where even complaining about the government would be a death sentence.
We don’t need to make America great again. It already is the greatest nation in the world. Can we make it better? Of course. But that feat begins with each one of us. Every action. Every day.
We owe it to our children, and our children’s children to be the role models of how we want things to be. We owe it to them to emulate the behavior we want to see in our country. Even if others can’t or won’t behave. We can.
Let’s move forward. Let’s agree to disagree but disagree to hate. Let’s vanquish hatred by striving for tolerance, understanding, compassion and love.
(Note: Updated to correct formatting errors and to include references.)