By Debbie Lynn
Clowns to left of me, jokers to the right—here I am, stuck in the middle with you. – Stealers Wheel
Politics: It’s a mind-bending thing to witness.
I rarely voice my thoughts about Donkeys vs. Elephants because for the most part, I have had no interest in the unconscious ways of our so-called leaders. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to be involved at all, and the other part that says, “How can I not?”
It is the push-pull of a heart and mind that sees and hears the inconsistency of the system that is supposed be upheld with liberty and justice for all (except of course in an election year), and the karmic wheel keeps spinning.
But my thoughts on the matter are uncomfortable. I see them come in, they give me an uneasy tug to the dark side, and I don’t like it. And lately, I have sat with the realization that being a bystander (kissing the thoughts of staying neutral good-bye, and keeping my mouth shut in this arena), is getting harder to do.
The toxicity, the barriers and the immaturity of the nasty game is growing; it is inciting fear, insulting our intelligence and the race to the finish makes for some ugly ideology. I am constantly shaking my head about the abusive “in-your-face” ignorance that America is being exposed to and now, embracing.
So I lean in.
I know I am not the only one who is feeling the effects of a country torn, and we try to make sense of the senseless. I reflect. It was only eight years ago that another battle raged in the Red vs. Blue/White vs. Black; and here we are again, a country divided and fighting each other as the toxic words are running rabid.
The conversations are laying blame: why and how did this happen (with little resolve), and I think that is a huge problem. No one—myself included—can see the middle road as reality. It certainly could be a solution, but the middle way means balance, means peace, means mutual respect and in a world gone mad, balance is having a hard time remaining in one place.
It shows us the paradox of the universe, within and beyond the opposites. It teaches us to be in the world but not of the world. – Jack Kornfield
So with each side taking bits and pieces of neutrality, bending and twisting truths to fit their mold, the scale tips deeper into a familiar territory of irresponsible rhetoric, because balance doesn’t make for good drama. As the past has shown us, when we had a very good candidate try to erect the Independent party, it was never quite juicy enough, nasty enough or strong-armed enough for the masses. That image didn’t bode well for society.
Trying to reach beyond the good and the bad of our electoral process is difficult at best when poison is seeping into our everyday existence. And just because we practice our neutral calm, doesn’t mean we are immune to the rest of the world.
Sometimes however, I feel more embedded into compassion when I see and hear what we are slowly becoming. I feel a deeper sense of duty to try and understand human nature without giving rise to my disdain.
But the currency so many want to deal in, is pain—pain from the disagreements, pain from hurtful words, pain from the exaggerated opinions and a pain from the lack of simple honor and respect. Pain is understood, and it all equates to the value placed on the yin/yang, the paradox of life, and life goes on. The rants and raves will continue. After all, it has been this way for thousands and thousands of years.
But I am an American, and I am going to quietly cast a vote that is as unassuming as possible. And you know what? There is a lot to be said about the single drop that causes a huge ripple.
The middle way for me is looking at what is possible (in the moment) and right now the moment is here. I can’t help but wish for betterment and it can only start with each one of us walking down that path to a world that has a larger capacity for love instead of hate.
Editor: Dana Gornall