just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

Just a Little Humility Please

Published on 14/09/12
by randy

Life is so much more complicated than our small minds could ever understand.  It’s why we’re continually directed by all spiritual traditions to humble ourselves in the vast mystery.  Once we find our stillness we can only rest in gratitude for the gift of the given.  Once we kneel to the Divine we can see our journey is to surrender in confident humility to divine Providence.  Today’s gift is a rapid acceleration of interdependence.  Globalization is happening at a rate that overwhelms the reasoning mind.  Yet, we have political and financial interests doing whatever can be done to try to control this.  Whether it’s racial, religious, sexual, economic or age diversity, it’s happening at a rate never before seen.  All the while, as the train of change speeds up, we seem more and more lost in the quagmire of technological thirst.  It now seems normal to claim spectator sports as ‘our religion’.  There seems to be no outrage with political influence given to the highest bidder/contributer.  A social politics of oppression, the very thing our forefathers came here to get away from, seems to be accepted.  It seems that policies to oppress voter rights, to oppress marriage to limited social standards, and to dictate personal body choices in matters of life and death, are gaining momentum.  These attempts to limit our freedoms have been made before, and ultimately, divine Providence has us as a nation, ending in justice.  Eventually, women and blacks were allowed to vote.  Eventually, kindness and understanding made it legal for mixed race marriages.  Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled that women have rights over their bodies.  Eventually, we were brought to our knees, humbly asking how we can best support one another without causing harm.

Our fear, greed and ignorance to this rapid change/interdependence has us in a dangerous position.  Caught in our ego’s notion of ‘being right’, we tend to close our minds to change.  We refuse to sit in a collaborative circle to see what divine Providence would offer up.  Yet, it’s this open, humble attitude that opens us to solutions that are bigger than our small minds and special interests.  It’s the small mind that’s insensitive to others’ spiritual journey.  It’s the small mind that tries to ‘push’ it’s notion of ‘rightness’ on others.  And it’s certainly the small mind that would inflame religious followers with derogatory attacks on a particular religion.  Today we have a presidential candidate who criticizes those who would apologize for the harm caused from an inflammatory movie created in our country.  This is arrogance.  This is harmful pride that refuses to open to the challenges of globalization.

Today’s leaders, more than business sense, must have a deep respect and understanding of the world’s various religious traditions.  They must be eloquent in finding common ground and common sense solutions to an increasingly challenging world.  The notion that we can somehow separate religious views and values from the debate is naive.  Today’s world commands an open mind, flexibility to fast moving conditions, a solid grounding in basic spiritual truths, and a capacity to communicate with impeccability, reducing the risk of conflict.

The inflammatory rhetoric of Romney and the conservative right wing has us going down a path of escalating conflict.  While not the perfect surgeon of diplomatic language and action, Obama is light years ahead of Romney.

I want a candidate who understands the spiritual principles of gratitude, humility, moderation, kindness, empathy, and grace.  I want one who can document training in listening skills rather than business practices that disregard harm.  I want a candidate well versed in international experience.  How many countries have been visited, in what capacity, how long, and what languages have been learned?  What’s the candidate’s real understanding of the American experience?  Have them describe their experiences of ‘not having’, of ‘faith’, and what ‘divine Providence’ means to them.  Ask them about their views on capital punishment and how that washes with their spiritual tradition.  And most importantly, let’s see them in situations where they actually can demonstrate their capacity to listen and accurately restate what they heard.

Our future will be determined by how carefully we traverse the present.  This can only be accomplished through deep, mindful listening and collaboration.  The degree to which we push our agenda on the world without regard to harm will only accelerate the  train of conflict.  It’s time for wisdom, gratitude, and humility for grace given within this moment of opportunity.  May we have the strength to always ask forgiveness for unintended harm done, whether through drone missiles or insensitive media.  Our universal spiritual command is to love one another, to reach out to our neighbors, to wish good will and blessing on all peoples and things, and to surrender in deepest gratitude to the gift of divine Providence.  Just a little less pride and a lot more humility, please.

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