February 5, 2017

This is revolution

This is revolution

I believe our political leaders have two kinds of power over us. The first is the power of the State : where men (and women) with guns show up and compel us to conform to the state's edicts. We have no choice, beyond a yearly vote, in how this power is applied to us.

The second is more insidious. It is the power of loyalty. Where affinity for Ds or Rs, or for particular Mayors, Governors, or Presidents allows our emotions to be drawn up or slammed down with the daily news cycle. 'They' are outraged so I should be outraged. 'They' are crowing in victory so I should crow in victory. I am loyal. But I am not free.

Here's the truth: your personal happiness should not rise and fall based on who is in office or how feverishly your favorite news host sprays words and salvia at the TV camera. Don't give others that kind of power over your joy.

Injustice will continue. And the sun will still rise. Government policy and parliamentary maneuvering can prevent neither.

But you have power to make the world measurably better. Not by standing up for things, but by reaching out to others. Start with the people in your own life.

Be slow to anger. Slow to speak. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Bend over backward to forgive offense. Assume those who think differently than you are at least as well intentioned. Believe those who hurt you are reacting in their own pain. Go above and beyond exceeding all reasonable social expectations to seek forgiveness when fellowship is broken, even if only 1% of the blame is on you. Be generous, expecting nothing back. Be kind, especially when others don't deserve kindness.

This is revolution. There will always be those willing to sacrifice on the alter their happiness, personnel relationships, and character for the political fight. You have the power to choose not to be numbered among them.