If we have installed a dictatorial authority over our own thoughts, it shouldn’t be surprising when our lives feel driven by uncaring forces. If our thoughts are not fully our own, how can we fully express our deepest concerns? Perhaps that is why we live in a society where–alongside the freedoms of democratic forms of government—our elected leaders don’t talk to each another unless they see a chance to pursue their own agendas.
The break-down in governmental discourse reflects an economic system in which corporations are strip-mining resources that have taken millions of years to create and which continue to rely on seasonal replenishment through ancient natural cycles. Given this kind of economy—which extracts resources with no thought to preserving the living whole–is it surprising that political leaders don’t know how to collaborate?
Sentenced to spending their professional lives moving deckchairs on the deck of a sinking ship, some leaders don’t seem to notice the ocean rising around them, let alone that their actions are fueling the rising seas?
When we encounter a vision that enables us to appreciate ourselves, we realize how much we have benefited from that guidance. And it helps us to recognize the cost of following a Pied Piper who denies all responsibility.
When someone who understands what will nourish us and guide us toward a worthwhile life has reached out to us, we feel grateful. From that perspective–of having been helped ourselves—can we feel some empathy for those who have not received that help themselves?
There are political figures on the world stage who behave like lost souls. When they look at their own reflection in a mirror, do they see a face that has been starved of the care for which all souls long?
We may not be able to alter the minds of anyone who sees in such public figures someone they think will work to realize their interests. It is hard to know what we could say, when the inability of these leaders to include the interest of others is so transparently visible in how they speak and behave.
However, we can recognize that the dictatorial voices operating inside our own minds help prepare the path for the next political dictator who will proclaim himself the answer to a system in which many are unheard.
When we see operating in ourselves the belief that others are to blame for our problems, we need to be working on ourselves.
Can we even imagine why people listen to leaders who have never themselves grown up, have never learned to consider the needs of others alongside their own, and who have never experienced the joy of connecting with fellow beings whose hopes and needs are as important as their own?
The pain of people who rely on the promises of leaders who are themselves broken, must be at least as great as our own. At least those of us who see how unnecessary it is for our Earth to be consumed by raging conflagrations and washed away in floods, can grieve openly for what is being lost.
Without a way to grieve, we have no way to work through our losses. As long as we keep betting our paychecks and family’s health on the promises of defenders of an economy that is plundering the life of our Mother Earth, where can we find the open space in which to grieve?
Can we believe that those who base their personal path on ransacking Earth’s exhausted resources until the end need our prayers as well as animals penned in their own feces; fields stripped of their capacity to replenish their nutrients through cycles of planting, harvest, and rest; and as well as those whose livelihoods are swept away by wars, floods and fires?
It doesn’t help anyone or anything to point the finger of blame outside the beating of our own hearts. We can bear witness to a grief that is falling over the land like spring rain. In that grief, there lives a dream of once more being embraced by the world that has given birth to us.