Our nation has been immersed for the past few weeks in the hearings surrounding Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.  As I write these words, we have in the past couple of days heard the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh, his rebuttal and the Senate’s call for a “limited” FBI investigation.  By the time you read this, the decision on his confirmation may have occurred.  I am sure that you have an opinion on where things stand at this moment that I am writing…and on whatever the ultimate outcome is.  I have an opinion but furthering my thoughts on whether or not he should be confirmed is not my purpose in writing this.

Instead, I would like to take a moment, dial down the rhetoric and try to look at this moment in our history as to where we might go from here as a people.  I don’t mean necessarily our “political response”….although it will potentially touch on that….but more our “spiritual response”.  That may sound “woo-woo” to you, but I invite you to stay with me.

Our political responses are driven by our key beliefs and worldviews…..the aspects of what we think is the most important thing facing our country at this moment. Our political responses are generally aligned with our political tribe/party…the group that we think is going to support that key issue we think is important.  Our political responses are generally driven by a desire for control and power.  All too often they are “win/lose” propositions that tend to continue to divide us.

On the other hand, our spiritual response is driven by a higher calling….what Lincoln termed “the better angels of our nature”.  Our spiritual response looks beyond our need to win and lose and exert our opinions on others, but rather seeks win-win solutions that transcend our need to be in control. Our spiritual response looks beyond the political expediency of the moment and asks what is best for all of us in the long term….not just this year or next….but on the grander scale of American and human history.

Yes, as we look out at the world, it appears that everything and especially the “fabric of American society” is going to hell in a handbasket.  But each of us needs to seek a bigger picture and live a bigger dream for us all.

As Martin Luther King is so famously to have stated, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  I tend to look at it like watching the stock market….in the short run it goes up, it goes down, it goes up, it goes down…..but in the long run, it’s tendency is towards going up.  The same is true of us humans and our evolutionary direction.  We take two steps forward, one step back….over and over….but we tend to go forward.

It’s easy in this moment and to focus on our political divisiveness, the use of “false facts” to justify positions, our ever retreating into our individual camps and to say “woe is us”, there is no way out of this mess….but there is…..and we will eventually find our way.

When?  I’m not sure.  How?  I’m not positive.

But I am optimistic for our ultimate future.

Human history, political and otherwise, is full of times that we swing one way or the other too far and we then move through a “course correction”.  Frequently, these “corrections” can be painful in the short run….and they may not be the experience that we would call to ourselves or those who follow us on the human path…..but they do give the gift of shifting us back in the right direction.

What is that direction?  We can debate the details but our general movement has been towards greater prosperity, justice and freedom for everyone.  Many tend to call it a “world that works for all”. In my belief, we are moving towards recognizing at greater levels the underlying unity of all…..and that includes all people.

So is there anything we can “do” or “be” in moments such as these to reduce our angst or to further our evolution towards such a world?  I don’t claim to have all the answers but here are a few suggestions that come to mind:

Notice when you are moving into judgements and proclamations that divide us and try to shift your thoughts or your comments.  Try to take the perspective of the other side for a moment so as to open you for compassion for those who may not see the world like you do.

When others around you start making comments that attack others and serve to divide, try not to join in the bashing of others.

Try to see the gifts that we are being given even in the challenges.

Always try to see that we are ultimately moving forward.

….the bottom line is that we tend to grow in our lives what we spend our mental energy on….the more our thoughts and words serve to divide us, the more we will experience divisiveness.  If we truly see that our spiritual evolution is moving us towards a world that works for all, then our thoughts, our words and our deeds must stay focused in that direction.

Mark Gilbert

ps.  How do you stay focused on a grander vision in the face of such worldly issues?  Love to hear. Drop me a note, leave a comment…..