When I was younger, I was super high-strung. It didn’t take a lot for me to get out-of-sorts. And my temper? Yeah, there were numerous walls and doors over the years I put a fist or foot into in anger. I know I wrecked a whole bunch of my cordless phones by throwing them in my 20s.
During my 30s, following the nearly crippling accident that made me part titanium, I calmed a lot. I stopped being so tightly wound, found my center. I laid the groundwork for who I would become over the next decade-and-a-half.
Now, in my late 40s, I tend to maintain calm. I haven’t punched a wall in 15 years or more. No matter what I have faced I’ve maintained an overall calm, Zen, optimistic demeanor. I work on living one day at a time.
My faith in humanity has been rattled. I knew that the results of the election were not likely to be clear today. But to see that it is this close speaks volumes.
I live in the Northeast. And the briefest glimpse at the electorate map shows me that the divide between us in this nation is much greater than I imagined.
The support for a selfish, narcissistic, clearly unwell liar being this strong saddens me. It not only makes me question my faith in humanity — but my own core beliefs.
Am I wrong about human nature?
My philosophy focuses on using mindfulness and finding/creating positivity to consciously create your reality. However, it is not exclusionary of other people.
I have long believed that all people desire peace, calm, connection, and to help one another. However, given the support for people who love to exclude, cause harm to those unlike them, and do whatever it takes to grab power — suffice it to say, this is disheartening.
No, it’s not over yet — but that it is so close distresses me. Are people really, truly selfish? Do people care so much about themselves that they don’t give a shit about anyone else? Do they truly see kindness and compassion as weak?
These are all rhetorical questions. There are no answers today. Likely, there won’t be any tomorrow, either.
The question before me is this: Am I wrong about people? Are they more inclined to be selfish than selfless? Are they really that callous? Kindness, compassion, and empathy — are they weaknesses?
The support for people with messages to cause hurt and pain — i.e. “make liberals cry again” — is that truly what people care most for? Pain, suffering, schadenfreude?
The best answer I have is maybe. It’s really hard to say because I know nobody like this personally.
My friends and family give a shit about everyone. They work to build communities and strive to improve matters for not just themselves but those around them.
So I am shaken — but not stirred. My faith in humanity is shaken — but not broken.
Can I still believe?
I am scared. Not so much about the as-yet undecided outcome — but how close it is. The fact that so, so many people support hate, discrimination, malcontent, and fear.
The question is — why? How can they support this?
Are we really wired to be selfish? Have we not evolved so far as most of us would hope? Are we just animals caring only for our individual needs, fuck the rest of the pack?
Maybe. That’s all I have. Maybe we are still far more animal than we believe ourselves to be.
But I also think the real issue here is the fear-base of our society.
Fear is everywhere you turn. While the majority of this fear is not based on a real, tangible issue — it’s there.
Throughout history, there have been people who weaponize fear. Long ago, it was easy — do as we say, or we kill you. And your family. But then the people, in time, overthrew those leaders.
Rather than learn to empower more people and spread the power, certain individuals not born to privilege decided to hoard it when they got it. They learned to use fear to manipulate people to their way of thinking — and created “us” versus “them” narratives to stoke the fires.
Those messages haven’t changed. And as much as intellectuals want to believe that humankind has evolved — clearly, we haven’t.
Or maybe it’s not that simple. Because let’s face it — when it comes to human beings, it is NEVER simple.
As my wife was saying to me a little while ago, there is a whole culture in this nation — and other parts of the world — where nothing ever seems to come easily. You struggle to make ends meet — and there never seems to be enough. Lack and scarcity are a constant expectation.
The leaders that these people select — rather than empower and show how working together grows us — emphasize the need to take what little you can and grip it tightly. Don’t share — the “other” would never share with you.
These messages encourage people to act in their own interests. They aren’t shown any reason to believe that there isn’t an “us” versus “them” and that it’s an artifice. They see an emphasis on lack, scarcity, and insufficiency.
The people don’t see that those encouraging this are taking from them — and generally the cause of the lack and scarcity. They are led to believe that if they don’t take what little there is for themselves, they’ll suffer.
Fear of suffering is usually what we fear more than the suffering itself.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Nobody wants to suffer. And to avoid suffering people will do all kinds of things.
I believe that the messages of fear are so overwhelming that people act long before they think.
And look at the examples we have. So many actions that spur an industry but destroy the fabric of the planet. Take it all now — to hell with the future.
If you are like me — this is unfathomable. How can people be like this? Can’t they see the lies?
The answer is no. And it is also why I can’t give in, give up, and let my fear overwhelm me.
One day at a time
Today isn’t yesterday. Tomorrow won’t be today. No matter what the outcome over the coming days of this election — the work won’t change.
I worry that because of how I think, what I share, and the things I say without reservation that I could be in danger. I won’t lie, this is a concern. However, I still believe that deep down we are capable of more.
Human beings may be swayed to acts of selfishness and forgo kindness and compassion for their survival. But that’s because that’s the message dominating the world.
Every single change in history began small. Hence, all of us who see abundance and the potential for a greater humanity need to keep going.
The question is — how do we change our approach?
Positivity gets bulldozed by toxic positivity. Practical mindfulness gets overshadowed by the cure-all ideal of hooky-spooky mindfulness. Reason and logic get overshadowed by fear and opinion. Abundance is dominated by false messages of lack and scarcity.
This day — today — I have no answers. Only more questions. I am sad, scared, frustrated, uncertain — but still, ultimately, hopeful.
My people — my friends and family — largely share my beliefs. And we look out for one another, are kind, compassionate, and empathetic towards not only each other but people we don’t know.
Maybe the challenge is to work out how we came here — and compare rather than contrast how others draw a different conclusion.
Today I don’t know. Tomorrow I probably won’t, either. But today is all I have — and one day at a time is how I get from here to there. Every day is a new opportunity — and I will keep sharing my beliefs in mindfulness, positivity, conscious reality creation, and abundance for all.
One day at a time. How will you get through your day today?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the philosophy of choosing and walking your path, and similar life lessons.
Get my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better Here
Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on November 4, 2020.