I have a confession to make y’all. I have not been “loving what is.” This is true in a few areas of my life, but it’s probably most apparent when it comes to the current presidential situation in the United States. Ever since he-who-shall-not-be-named was elected, I find myself getting riled up almost every day, often multiple times a day. Every time I risk a look at the news, it seems, there’s something there for me to get upset about. I don’t generally consider myself a very angry person, but y’all, this guy makes me ANGRY. The thing is, though, this anger I’m harboring isn’t doing anybody any good. It’s definitely not helping me, and I’m pretty sure dude in the White House wouldn’t care. It’s also not helping our National Parks, the people in Puerto Rico, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, or any other number of groups/entities that have been in the administration’s line of fire so far.
So it stops here. I’m done fuming over every little thing this administration does that I consider an injustice. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop caring. Definitely not. And I can’t guarantee I won’t keep getting angry. But I’m going to try my best to use my anger constructively instead of just letting it eat away at me and fester. I refuse to give that power to anyone, least of all Donald Trump. Because like it or not, this guy is going to be in the White House for the next four years, and I don’t want those years to be consumed by anger and frustration. I want to focus on doing what I can to make a positive difference– in this country, in my community, and in individual people’s lives. I believe that love really does trump hate, and that if we can all focus on being proactive instead of reactive, on fighting for what we believe in instead of protesting what we don’t, perhaps we can stem the tide of division and animosity that seems to be washing over this country. If the government isn’t going to step up and set a good example, then it’s up to each of us.
Because despite the way the media portrays it, despite the way it may look in your Facebook or Twitter feeds, and despite how it looks in the comment sections of pretty much any online news site or social media platform, I genuinely believe we are more alike than we are different. I think we all just want to love and be loved, to feel safe and secure, to be respected. We may not always agree on the details or how to achieve these things, but we can at least find some common ground and try to work together with our commonalities as a starting point. As Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Buddhist meditation master, once said, “Everybody loves something, even if it’s just tortillas.”
Seems like a good place to begin.