Political Yogi

29 Oct


Image Credit: Dieder Ruef

Know all objects to be impermanent

Let not their contact blind you

Resolve again and again to be aware

Of the Self that is permanent.

-T. Krishnamacharya

I was a political junky for years. I worked for both the cities of Chicago and San Francisco. Very left leaning municipalities, they served my progressive spirit to a t. Spending more time now with my family and in my studies, I’ve found that my political passion has waned some. Not because I no longer find it important to support progress in my city, country, or world but because the coverage of politics is too much like reality TV.

I love heated debates, perceived difference, quick witticism and pointed arguments. Some days I live for them. What I can’t get over right now is how our media seems to be embracing this as politics.

From where I see it, we are all in this together. What happens to you is also happening to me. It may not happen today, I may have a few more dollars in my pocket or some additional comfort in my walk from public transport to my home. I may even have better healthcare or options for elderly support. The thing is, at some point, I will be affected by my disregard for you or my attitude that you alone are responsible for your circumstances.

We are a system, democracy (not capitalism) is built on the idea that we all get a say in how things work and how our system shakes out. For me it is working from a collective idea of what is good for us all. It’s hard to totally parallel with the idea of the eternal Self, since we are still talking about humanity, but in there is the idea of recognizing the suffering of all as the suffering of one, and in turn the solution for one as the solutions for all.

As a youth what I loved about out political system was that those on opposite sides of the aisle worked together, they compromised and made slow change based on what was often good for a larger majority. What I see today is both parties marginalized, trying to make policy that serves them singularly and others that they perceive to be like them.

Here, in our humanness, we all have the same fears and anxieties, our politicians play on those enabling us to more effectively demonize the people we see as not like us. In the end, we all go back to the same place; this is just a moment in eternity.

We can choose to work together, make things happen or we can let people play us into thinking that our shells should determine how we treat each other.  I’m giving up the political drama, but I am still a junky for democracy. A junky for people working together to support a larger human family, for making this a space that will lessen the physical suffering of generations to come, or for an opportunity to develop a place and practice to learn about the Self: individual, collective and eternal.

How are you playing out your politics?

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