A Cure for the Other Disease Plaguing America
Recently, someone in my community wrote a statement in the newspaper bashing those people who opposed his politics. When I first read what he had written, I was flabbergasted—to say the least. I couldn’t understand how a highly educated man who values family and religious tradition would make such harsh, negative comments about people who do not share his political views.
At first I went into attack mode—in my head and on the phone with my friends, lambasting this man—but once my anger subsided, I realized I was no different than him. After all, who was I to judge this man for having different views than me? Who was I to stoop to his level and spew venomous words out of my mouth about him?
Through my reaction, I had become his mirror image.
Once I was aware that my vitriolic behavior toward this man was wrong, I went a step further to try and understand what had led him down that path to begin with. So, I did what any lay researcher would do, I googled character traits and political views similar to his. I came across an interesting article that explained why these people follow this line of thinking, and I found that their rationale was primarily based on their religious beliefs. Although I didn’t agree with their reasoning, I had to respect it.
Our nation has been plagued by two diseases: one affects our physical bodies (COVID-19), and the other our mental and spiritual well-being. The latter stems from passing judgement on others, which so many of us are guilty of.
Imagine how different the world would be if instead of judging a person who had opposing views, we sent them compassionate thoughts, valuing them as free-thinking individuals who are entitled to their beliefs.
Our differences are what makes life beautiful. Planet Earth is made up of a rainbow of human beings, plants, and animals––blended together to form the greatest artistic masterpiece in creation. This notion of separateness is just an illusion, for we are all one, connected at our core by an invisible and powerful force.
Nobody wants to live in a world where everyone is the same. That would be boring and wouldn’t afford us the opportunity to evolve. Growth occurs when our views are challenged, when we rise above failure and disappointment, and when we learn from others who aren’t like us.
Once we can all embrace diversity, accept those who have opposing beliefs, and not pass judgement on others, we will be able to remedy our fractured nation.
This, of course, is no easy feat.
Habitually, I have always been critical of friends and family members who don’t share my political ideologies, telling myself that this individual is ignorant or hate-filled. But habits can be changed, first by recognizing them, and second by replacing them with something else.
The next time someone disagrees or supports political views that I believe are detrimental to society, I’m going stop myself and see them in a new light, as a person with a story that may have allowed their own fears and insecurities to get the best of them. And that’s okay, because what’s most important is that I remember why we are here, that we came to this precious Earth for one reason only—to love and to connect. As soon as we can incorporate this type of thinking into our everyday lives, it will serve as a vaccine for this spiritual disease, allowing it to finally heal––once and for all.