A New Year Resolution: Caution With Politics

One of the most divisive things in life is political issues.  Over the years, I have contributed my part in causing stress and divisiveness over such opinions.  Still, today I continue to receive emails with political advice on various issues and personalities.  Often family members split over these emails and debates.  Among most family members, I avoid bringing up current hot issues realizing it would touch off a hot emotional debate if I’m not “politically correct” as they view things.  Politics and expressing opinions can truly be a nasty, dirty, egocentric business.  For 2010, I resolve to avoid these issues as much as possible!

I am presently ending a wonderful reading of the life of George Washington, our country’s first President and military leader in seeking to “liberate” us from the British.  And Native Americans.  And the French.  Like other biographies of our country’s past leaders, this one reveals the depths of hatred these leaders had toward each other to say nothing of outsiders from Europe or those whose religion and skin color didn’t correlate with theirs.  I have read David McCullough’s “John Adams,” Richard Carwardines’ recent biography on Abraham Lincoln, and now Joseph Ellis’ “His Excellency,” a vast study and compilation of the life of Washington.  I can assure you that the hatred and suspicions on these leaders, and mean-spirited attacks on their abilities and character were as fierce as any writings today about present political leaders.  I can assure you all of these leaders, our heroes, had equal struggles with egocentric issues concerning how they would be remembered and how they could rule as much of the country as possible with acquired powers.  Yes, to be a political leader, or aspire to be one, will involve one in some extremely nasty attacks, betrayals, and violent decisions.

In the early years of our nation building, many church groups, including Presbyterians, were right in the middle of the political mix.  Sermons were very often nothing more than political harangues about various unfair practices of others.  Apocalyptic forecasts of dire consequences were frequent threats against failing to follow certain choices and rules laid down.  I was reared and trained in this mentality and thinking.

As I have moved throughout life toward a deeper understanding of who I am, I have found myself less interested in changing others in comparison to how I would like to change myself.  I am much more attentive to possible needed changes in my own thinking and actions than I am in others, including members of my own family.  I am concerned primarily with being the love change I would like to see rather than pummeling it on others with harsh and manipulative tactics. 

Presently our country, along with our world, is deeply divided on political issues from the character of the our President to an array of issues such as global warming, economic policies, health coverage, and military expenditures and excursions.  Trust me, it is the same as in ages past.  Unhappy people, fearful of living love, fearful of seeing the dance of mortality as but a passing illusion, want to think they know by attacking others and spewing out “facts and figures” that are near meaningless.  Who knows?  Who really knows?  “If any thinks he knows anything,” the writer Paul of the Bible penned, “she/he knows nothing as they should.”  Another time he wrote, “Now we see only in through a darkened glass….” 

Believing we are mortal, separate beings from Spirit, from the Essence of all others, we do rail and tend to pontificate in order to convince ourselves we have importance and security.  Friends, there is is none here.  To paraphrase Shakespeare, “it is all but a dance upon the stage, strutting mightily across but in the end signifying nothing."

It has taken me most of my life thus far to come to these conclusions as I have continually asked myself, “Truly, what is this all for?”  As the ancient writer penned, “It’s all vanity, vanity of vanities.”  Without an awakening to our Spiritual, Eternal Oneness with God, we are left alone fighting to survive somehow in this transitory life of death and illusions.  Once we awaken, it is such a tremendous release albeit a bit frightening with that sense of nakedness before the world.  “I am Spirit, the Holy Child of God, free of all limits, safe, healed and hold, free to forgive, and free to save the world.”  (From its illusions.)

This year, I vow to be less and less affected by endless fear mongering about the imperfections of life and this world.  I will listen to less “news.”   I will let it be as it is, a place of attack and counterattack, of the constant duality of winners and losers, of do-gooders and evil-doers.  But with a sense of Oneness beyond the dualities about me, I will simply forgive it, love it, and let it go along with my own expectations that this sphere can be any other than ephemeral, short-lived and death-loaded.  I will laugh more and take “life and death issues” less seriously.  I will love all people, especially hard working politicians who get caught so easily into traps of fame and loneliness.  I will give thanks for this world being exactly what it is, and of that world beyond sight which is also as it is; at peace, full of love, eternal and quiet.


About David Persons

Retired minister who still writes, speaks some, hikes less, and golfs.
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