This past weekend I was struck by the spontaneous and immediate reaction of people in the USA in the aftermath of their new president’s order on Friday.
This order, banning even long-time residents of the USA, took immediate effect, and severely impacted those already in the air at the time of signing the order. These people were detained upon arrival in the US.
The reaction from the communities around international airports in the USA was to gather, protest, show solidarity, offer help and compassion to those detained, as well as their loved ones who had come to meet them at the airport.
As outsiders to this drama, many of us witness these events with astonishment. But it’s ultimately “their” problem, right? It has nothing to do with us. Some start fear-mongering, because what could be the eventual repercussions to the world as a whole, and so to us? Either way we can point fingers and point out what seems ridiculous or inhumane to us, and even make comparisons with people we know. He’s acting like a real Donald Trump, and so on.
I’d like to offer a different perspective on what is really going on.
When anyone, including Donald Trump, does something we disapprove of, we have a clear idea of what they should be doing instead. It is in that should- statement that we find the key to our own enlightenment.
Play along with me for a moment. Let’s say our thought is Donald Trump should act more humane by considering the situations of others. Or show more respect. Or think of the consequences of his actions. Take your pick.
If you know The Work of Byron Katie, you will know the next question to ask is whether this is true. And then, whether you can know that it is absolutely, universally true.
Let’s say, in this case, we have said YES resoundingly both times.
Now comes the question, what happens, how do you react, when you believe Donald Trump should consider other people. Detail all the emotion that answers that question. Notice how your body reacts when you believe this thought. How is your relationship with the Divine impacted? Consider how you treat others. And yourself.
Now ask the next question. What happens when you, even just for a moment, lose the thought, Donald Trump should act more humane. Again, consider each aspect of your life as you answer.
You now have a clear picture of what the thought does to you, as well as the freedom that will come from not believing it.
At this point, you may be ready to see if you can substitute another thought for the original. One that may be equally true for you, but one that will move you forward, instead of keeping you stuck in the personal hell you have just described.
Traditionally, you now concoct three other thoughts, using the negative, the other and the self. That could look like this: Donald Trump should not consider other people. Other people should consider Donald Trump. I should consider other people.
Now you may be sitting up. What? Me? I have something to do with this?
[There is step in between that I am skipping here. I highly recommend visiting thework.com to see the full method illustrated.]
To me, what is being highlighted so clearly in the USA, is something we should all see as in a mirror.
Where are we doing this to our own personal world? Where are we showing the same kind of character as Donald Trump?
The real questions look something like this.
Where are we not respectful of other people’s humanity? Where are we making decisions we say are for the good of others, but really are pretty much all about us? Where are we disrespectful of someone else? Where are we making sweeping generalizations? Where are we cashing in on other people’s fear?
What is happening in your house? What does it look like in your heart and in the thoughts that you keep covered? How do you treat people at work? Who are you diminishing because you fear something?
As of old, it’s not about pointing out the sawdust in someone else’s eye, but bout noticing the plank in our own.
Everything we encounter in life is for US to take note of. For US to grow from.
Not everyone realizes this. And certainly only a select few actually do grow. But the challenge, and the invitation remain. How do you answer?