It is what it is

20
Jan
2010

I started out this morning writing a post that was filled with venom and vitriol, aimed especially at certain Democrats who I perceive to be in the pocket of corporate interests to the detriment of the populace at large. But the more I thought about this, the more unhappy it made me. And the more I questioned why I have to live this way. Why take these defeats so personally? Sure, many of these policies do affect me personally. And many of the decisions taken in the halls of power are an affront to the image of a decent and just society. But the anger, the frustration, is merely the result of a feeling of impotence. And it in itself is vulgar and corrosive. I need to find a way to support the causes I think are just without feeling personally injured when they don’t come to pass. And I need to find a way to not vilify those I think are standing in the way of progress or working against it. I need to regain more of the Buddhist compassion and detachment that brought me such peace during my travels. And by detachment, I don’t mean that we don’t strive for a better world and work towards that goal. I mean that whatever the outcome, we accept it with equanimity and calm. We focus on what can be accomplished and plod along without the anger. This anger is corrosive and paralyzing. Questioning the motives of others does no good at all except to raise our temperature and encourage a mean spirited reading of the world. A reading that is rife with conspiracy. I suppose that reading makes it easier on the one hand, for in imagining a dark, vast, invisible and malevolent power controlling things, we make ourselves feel better that we were outgunned or that things were out of our control. We feel small and powerless and although angry, a little less to blame for what has occurred. But this much I know: Our attitude affects everything. We can take the exact same circumstances and make them into something horrible or wonderful. We are best served not by questioning the ethics or morals of others, but to react with equanimity to their actions. The first victim of one’s anger and resentment is oneself. So let us get up, without exasperation, and push the rock uphill once more. And try to enjoy the landscape along the way.