Trump, Clinton, Sanders! Oh my!

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
Ralph G. Nichols

Trump just secured the Republican nomination. Bernie folks accuse Hillary folks of not being liberal enough. Hillary folks accuse Bernie folks of being too idealistic. This is a mess.

This is all I hear anymore: “I’m right, you’re wrong! Actually you’re more than wrong, you’re an idiot for believing what you believe. I refuse to listen to anything you have to say

Meanwhile nothing gets done to actually improve the quality of life for most of us.  

You see, my job, in large part, is to teach people the skills they need to live a happier healthier life. I am not asking you to change your values and join me on the liberal team. This isn’t about Republican versus Democrat. I recently got into a “who is a better liberal” debate with someone that believed they were better at being liberal because they believed something different than me. Believe me, there are bullies on both ends of the spectrum. I’m fully aware of how I can be a liberal bully sometimes and that being a bully doesn’t help things. I’m working on it.

This is yet another call to kindness and common humanity.

In all the years I’ve studied psychology, relationships, health and happiness, one thing remains true: being a kind and compassionate person will improve every aspect of your life. That’s thirteen years of college and graduate school distilled down to one sentence. Basically, I paid tens of thousands of dollars to learn that being grateful, kind, and compassionate are the keys to success in every aspect of life. 

Building a wall, judging people, obsessing over bathrooms, obsessing over genitals, comparing yourself to others, criticizing people, mocking others, and bullying others will only make you miserable (and those around you). What’s worse is that people hide behind their God when they judge or criticize thinking that makes it okay. It doesn’t and I see what you’re doing. I’ve also noticed that most people don’t realize they’re miserable, they think life is just supposed to suck.

You can be happy too! But, you have to be nice first. There is no other way. 

There is a reason people like Jesus, Gandhi, and Buddha are remembered and revered thousands of years after their deaths. They all said the same thing: Love. They never said love except when this happens, love with conditions, love when it serves you, love money and things over people, or love but do so with righteous indignation.

I don’t remember the last time a happy person with a happy life shot up a school, mall, or church? Do you? 

I still believe that love always wins in the end. I have to believe this to go about my days. But, the rise in violence, bullying, sexism, racism, anger, and hate is terrifying. Love might win in the end but it looks like the path is winding through some tough towns before we get there.

“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
1 Peter 3:8

 

 

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