Believing that one’s political views are the only correct ones is being righteous. When one feels the need to convince others that this is the only correct viewpoint, it is arrogance.
Therefore, two very important questions need to be answered. What is true righteousness and, when applied to politics, what is true patriotism?
When you know you are right, but have no need or desire to tell or convince anyone that you are right, this is true righteousness. Jesus, the Buddha and Ghandi were truly righteous. Their statements and actions did not come from the conditioned mind (ego), but rather from the beingness, peacefulness and love that comes from the source.
For example, when someone snaps at you with anger, impatience, and irritability, you will feel the urge to react. But resist, catch yourself and then turn the other cheek. In short, smile at them and beam them love. It took me a couple of years as a middle school teacher to realize Dale Carnegie’s ideas ("How to Win Friends and Influence People") were correct. That is, learning to smile does create a cooperative warm atmosphere in relationships. I went from being viewed by students as a sour old grouch to students looking forward to my social studies class.
Another huge challenge that does test your applying true relationships (love) is watching the nightly news on television. When a politician or commentator becomes angry, holier than thou, or comes forth with outright falsehoods, do not react. Instead of bursting forth in anger or sadness, ask yourself these questions: “Do I need to buy into this anger, sadness? Where are these feeling really at?” Obviously, one does not, because love, peace is always here and now. If you cannot make this transformation, then a simple solution is to not watch the news.
So, what is a true patriot? First, they totally accept what is. That is, they do not deny the anger, resentment or sadness. Instead of angry, violent demonstrations that destroy property and hurt people, a true patriot follows the advice of Thomas Jefferson, who said, “The only way you get more democracy is by more democracy.” This means that a true patriot’s fundamental actions are to daily practice true righteousness. This means no finger pointing or negative judgments of past actions or statements of your opponents. Rather, each day be in silent still peaceful awareness as you shop, work, volunteer or recreate.
What can we do each day to create more democracy through practicing this true righteousness? Attending one’s county commissioners or school board’s meetings is a start. But, it is important to realize that Jefferson’s idea of democracy is not limited to being involved politically. But, more important is our practicing true righteousness (love) each and every day in all our activities.
Eckhart Tolle says that there are two consciousness enveloping the world — identifications with forms to the point of greed and power, or a Conscious Presence (love or peacefulness). Which one of these will control our world will depend on what each individual does each day. Are you being more kind or loving to everyone you are meeting, texting? Are you involved and actively taking part in your neighborhood, community, city or state’s issues? Or are you preoccupied with having more material forms? Which one of these consciousnesses are you creating?
This essay was written the day after Mr. Trump became our 45th President-elect. Jim Hawes, a retired Medford school teacher has published "Ageless Child" (Balboa Press, Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobles) and is working on his new book, "AGELESS LIVING." Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.