New Year's Resolution: Give Up Angry Politics
I've noticed that the rage of the political Right and the rage of the political Left are one and the same energy. For some folks, political anger is the only rush: the rest is numb.
Whenever I become political - and sooo progressive - two things happen in me. First I become right: as in righteous. Which means I stop listening to anybody who has a different view. Second, my heart contracts. Love becomes less important than being right. I tune into a global wavelength of anger that feeds my outrage, making me more and more like the people I despise. I guess this is why Jesus said, "Love your enemy." He wasn't so much giving us a way to address our adversary as to save our own hearts from poisoning themselves. After all these years of being in "the peace movement," I really ought to take him up on it.
I've written nearly a hundred newspaper editorials where I've lambasted the political right, their corporate fascism, and their wars. But I was merely preaching to the choir, and alienating the opposition. No one changes any minds by being outraged, or right. Political anger doesn't solve anything: it just polarizes.
At the still center of the smallest act of kindness is a healing that redeems the earth. What changes things is not our moral outrage, but allowing our hearts to flower and act in the grace of the ordinary.
So I have decided to do my work outside the political system. The world yearns for anonymous sacraments of kindness that have nothing whatsoever to do with politics! The Kingdom of Justice is not built out of political angst, but apolitical movements of the heart, aimed at gathering communities rather than splitting them in two. This year, I resolve to drop the rituals of political anger, and disengage from the rhetoric of both Left and Right.
Peace to you, my friends, and happy New Year in this time of fresh beginnings, which we celebrate simply to remind ourselves that every moment, all year long, can be a moment of awakening.