Why I Share Responsibility in this Upside-Down World…

This morning we watched CBS Morning like we always try and do most Sunday mornings and this one really got to me. It was the segment about those Trump supporters in West Virginia –at one time mostly Democrats but now die hard “Trumpsters.” I could feel my ire starting to boil over and my judgement chip rarin’ to go becoming as vile in my thoughts as I have felt this “other” faction to be. And then I listened to them. And I watched them. And I looked at their lives and their frustrations and their pain and fear.

They have been ignored by everyone. Left out to struggle on their own—once productive, mostly coal miners and their families, they’re now living in a nearly boarded-up world of no money, no jobs, considered the lower-not-the-middle class. They’re falling into a quagmire of physical, emotional and financial quicksand and no one has offered to pull them out. No one was listening to their pain to make what has been so un-great, great again. So is it no wonder that they look at Trump as the only promise of change they have? What tremendous anger and sorrow and futility and fear they must to have in order for an unfathomable Donald Trump (!) to be considered their Rescuer?

But look at it this way. When you ignore your children or animals or anyone close to you longing for protection and love and they’re not receiving it—not now, not ever, what happens? They act out. They get into trouble, cause fights, do vile and hurtful things, they run-away, they do any and everything they can to beg for attention in order to right the wrong in their lives. They vote for a monster to save them.

Face it. We are all guilty of the divisiveness our beautiful country is experiencing right now. We did this by doing nothing. We didn’t listen to the American Heartland. We didn’t roll up our sleeves and get in there with them and offer to help them be heard at last. We did an “us-and-them” dance away from each other. We judged and ridiculed and mocked and said cruel things. And we didn’t listen to what they were crying out and saying over and over again. “Help!”” They are part of our world too. We are all one. All connected. All part of the same fabric of humanity. We let politicians and the media and all of them take precedence over each other and shout out above the crowds aching to be heard. We let each other down.

So who’s fault is it that minorities are being singled out as terrorists and every aspect of human-beingness is being undone by cruelty and bigotry and racism and anti-Semitism and sexism and gender-bashing and eco-devastation, on and on and on? All of ours. We turned away from each other in a time when we should be closer than ever and listening with our hearts as well as our ears and minds.

The Italian Renaissance historian/writer/philosopher Machiavelli once advised,

“If your people are dissatisfied, pick out a group among them and treat it so badly that the others will find their lot endurable by comparison.”

And Hitler followed suit saying,

“People want someone to make them afraid so that they can shudderingly submit themselves to a protector. Why do you chatter about cruelty and get excited about pain? That’s what the masses want. They need something to shiver about.”

It seriously is time for us to do what that song Pete and I sang, “Let’s all get together and love one another right now.” Not just Democrats. Not just Republicans. Not just the highly educated nor just the illiterate. Nor the very rich. Nor the very poor. Nor just those of a certain color, gender, race, religion, demographic, etc.

We must love one another right now. And LISTEN! The world is crying out. We can’t ignore it anymore. If there is even a tiny hope of reaching to pull each other out of the pain we must. We really don’t have a choice. Love is and has always been the only answer.

Once we all claim our part in this mess then the healing begins. Baby steps. Baby steps. Love bigger and louder and more compassionately than ever.

It’s all we have.

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