Tuesday, January 17, 2017

On The American Spirit

     All Americans reveal the spirit of America, whether they are native born or part of the immigrant background that helps to give this country the genius of new energies. The promise of America lies, in part, within the Pledge of Allegiance we so glibly rattled off during our days in school… “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” During the 1830’s, the French diplomat, Alexis de Toqueville, spent several months in America and wrote of the experience in Democracy in America. He admired the “rough earnestness” he found in Americans. Almost 200 years later that rough earnestness is still present, but we have grown a lot too.

      We have learned that kindness and compassion heal, and that hatred and anger bring only death, if not to the body then certainly to the soul. We have learned that whiteness is no more nor less sacred than any other skin color or ethnicity. We know that our leaders lead “by the consent of the governed,” which is the nature of democracy, and not by authoritarianism. We choose to be governed, but we do not choose to be ruled. Americans, being who we are, will push back at any suggestion of imposed rulership by any leader, and it is good that our leaders remember this and do not transgress this innate fiber of the American being.

      A great leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the weight of the Presidency on his shoulders during the 1930’s, used the new technology of radio to try to calm and encourage a nation dispirited by the Great Depression with his Fireside Chats. That was leadership then. Today it appears that President-elect Donald Trump, with no sense of responsibility, seemingly uses thousands of tweets to inflame, insult and incite millions of Americans 140 characters at a time. This is leadership now.

      America is guided by an ideal of collective and individual excellence for all, which it has not yet reached. Still, the ideal is always before us. This is the American spirit, and we will rise to it and live in it, or we will risk being overrun by trolls!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On Moving On

Perhaps it is time…and past time…to look more closely at the demands and fruits of our own lives. The national follies are currently always in our faces,and we may be in danger of letting our lives become a side show to the national hullabaloo. Karma has a part to play at the national level, and perhaps we should stand out of the way and let it do so.

Our good attention...
After all, there should be nothing sweeter or more fascinating than the track of our lives. Little kids all know this. They usually can’t wait to get out of bed each morning to see what’s before them. But seriously, the only life we really have any permanence over is our own, and it probably needs our good attention.

 Unique gifts to bring...

We are firmly into 2017, replete with birthdays to celebrate, occasions to mark and dreams to put into form. Do we not know that we have unique gifts to bring through our atmospheres every time we enter a room? When was the last time we thought about making an impact rather than just absorbing the murkiness in front of us?

Things to do...

I kid you not. We have way more to engage in than we think we do, especially if we come into a situation full of purpose and focus. As my father used to say, we have things to do, places to go and people to see. If we do not mind our own store and pay attention to what is ours to do, we are, for all intents and purposes, giving our power away to others by default.

Let’s get at it and get moving!

More Essays About Everything is now available on Amazon

You might also enjoy "On Handling Stress." 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On a More Spiritual America

In a few days the United States will have a new President and a new administration.  What will take place over the next four years will depend on our new President and even more importantly, on ourselves as Americans.  Our next President has said, “For those who have chosen not to support me in the past…, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”  Let’s hold him to this assurance, and let us hold ourselves to a new mind set.  First of all, I believe we are, as Wayne Dyer’s beloved, oft-quoted phrase has stated, “spiritual beings living a human life,” regardless of religious beliefs or lack of them. Secondarily, we are all Americans, which is more important by far than the “tribes” we have allowed ourselves to fall into.  As a staff writer for a November issue of Christian Science Monitor Weekly wrote:  “Before you’re a feminist or a member of Black Lives Matter, you’re an American.”
Consider your goals...

She also wrote, “First, separate your feelings about Trump and Clinton from your feelings about their supporters.  Second, consider your goals.”  Third, it is our business to cultivate relationships with those who think differently than we do.  These ideas are not unique to a few writers.  Over the past few months, many have recognized the need to come together, in small groups and large, to proclaim that healing is taking place among Americans.
A healed, unified America...

I believe that the desire for a healed, unified America is almost organically rising up and that more and more people are willing to speak less and listen more.  As spiritual beings involved in everyday living, we have love to give and love to share, and let’s not mistake the invocation of love as a feel-good platitude.  We now know that love is one of the greatest healing agents of all time.  It allows cowboy boots to talk with business suits.  If we all want an America that works for everyone, we can realize this…and 2017 can be a most remarkable year!