I’m not going to lie to you- I’m reeling right now. I thought this election would turn out differently. I thought, for sure, our new president would self-destruct during the campaign. Several times, I thought he actually did.
Here’s what I do know: however isolated, shocked and scared some of us are feeling now, that’s how isolated, shocked and scared the 59 million people who voted for Trump have probably been feeling for the past 8 years. 59 million people. Here’s what else I know: every time we engaged in conversations about how bad Trump is, how ___ist he is (fill in the blank, your choice); every time the media, celebrities, other politicians voiced their opinions on how patently wrong he is… all of it made him stronger.
How did this happen? First, we were watering the weeds. We put all of our attention on something we hated and feared, and guess what? It grew. That’s how consciousness works.
Second, we were being just as divisive. We did our own version of fear mongering. Guess what? He’s not evil. His supporters aren’t evil. Here’s where it hurts a little bit: we created this situation. It is our collective consciousness that needs work.
He ran a campaign that tapped into people’s fear of ‘other’. They were afraid that their way of life was being threatened. And that’s exactly how Trump opponents are feeling now. As Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. When we used (what we thought was) perfectly rational and obvious reasoning for his unsuitability as president, we made him even more appealing to people who were feeling disenfranchised and scared.
So what can we do? We can all work harder on communication, respect and love for EVERY member of humanity, not just the ones we agree with. We can do away with this sense of ‘other’, because it’s not getting any of us anywhere. The Vedas teach that there is no ‘other’. We’re all individual expressions of one giant consciousness. My elbow doesn’t look, act or feel like my pinky toe, but they’re both part of me.
I teach meditation. In Vedic meditation, you learn, right from the start, how to transcend your thoughts and your ego, and take your mind to the source of thought. This place actually exists. Even though I was a stressed-out, skeptical doctor when I learned to meditate, I’ve been there. Each time you meditate, you access this source of everything- all thoughts, all creatures, all things- and you bring a little bit of it back into your life. Suddenly, what seemed scary, and ‘other’, doesn’t seem so scary anymore. The ants in my bathroom here in India (where I’m writing this)- they are just being ants in the bathroom. They aren’t trying to do anything to me. So why would I get all hyped up about them? There’s nothing to fear.
So that’s my contribution. It’s one of a million beautiful ways we can make this world more harmonious. What are some other ways we can use our talents and our passions to tear down the walls of fear and ‘other’ that we, as a society, have built up around us?
We are going to be okay.
I mean it. And, like it or not, we have a new president. Let’s stop resisting what is, and instead use it as an opportunity to learn, and to love.