I am not really that political. I don’t volunteer for candidates at election time. I don’t vote for one party consistently. I am more of a social leader. I challenge values like sexism, ageism (young and old), and support environmental issues, albeit inconsistently and not ascribing to any one movement.. Mostly I define myself as a humanist.
Yet, as I watch the American election, one I cannot vote in as I am Canadian, I can easily get riled up. I feel compelled to challenge people to examine their beliefs and mental models. I feel compelled to do something to combat the insanity I see.
How easy it is for us to begin to feel threatened and fearful over someone who doesn’t think as we do. How often do we see violence or murder, just for a thought that is different than our own?
Consider Malala Yousafzai. As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. (Wikipedia) Despite political violence, her stance is to promote non-violent dialogue and greater education.
“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’
But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’
Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.” – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliba
Just as relevant for all countries is this view:
“He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.” – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
More clearly than ever, this is an opportunity for awakening. Politics are a siren call for our highest collective consciousess to shine. Politics triggers our fears and unexplored ego issues.
When is it more clear than in politics for us to ask if what we believe is really true? When else are we more clearly called to live our values? When else do we as individuals show as clear an image of how easily we become fundamentalists?
And we do it all for a thought.
Thoughts change. Thoughts are ego chatter. Thoughts are lenses that obscure reality.
And for a thought, we allow violence in our words and actions. We allow violence in our energy field.
Today, ask yourself what happens when you believe your thoughts. Who would you be without those thoughts? What would change in the world?