Thursday, November 10, 2016

Civil Unrest in America: Trump Is Not the Problem - You Are

My core belief is that if you're complaining about something for more than three minutes, two minutes ago you should have done something about it. - Caitlin Moran

Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining. - Mason Cooley

I’ve received a lot of calls, emails, texts and social media messages in the last 24 hours from people citing all the violence “caused by Trump”.  Apparently there is a run on women, gays, Muslims and Latinos, all the fault of Trump, and as a result, people reaching out to me are freaked out that their nation has fallen.  Some even asked me what I was going to do about it, apparently anointing me with powers and influence that I was unaware I had.

If I had known that I had that much influence, I would have been tackling more important issues of the day – like why isn’t the McRib on the McDonald’s menu all the time?

Seriously …. unfortunately, most of the things they are talking about are not true.

One person who called me cited a hate crime against a Muslim woman that was allegedly inspired by Trump.  I asked the person for evidence and it was provided – “I saw the post on Facebook”.  I looked at the post, did a quick Google search and realized it was an old story that has been circulating around for a while, with the name of whose fault it was being the only thing that changed over the last few years.

I pointed this out and that the post was being distributed by a person who has a history of citing unrest with unsubstantiated stores that only they seem to know about and which are clearly filled with a venomous agenda.

Sensing an opportunity for education, I told the person about a story I had just heard in Foreffsakes, Alberta, where a bunch of oil drilling thugs (this person is also anti-oil) had beset upon a gay man and tattooed “Trump” on his forehead.

He demanded that I give him a link so he could share it immediately on Facebook.

I laughed and said, “I lied.  There is no such place as For F Sakes”, placing emphasis on the place name to highlight what I had done.

I explained, “You realize when you share an unsubstantiated story that is distributed by a person known only for sharing hateful things, then you are part of the problem in this world.  Instead of looking for solutions to real problems, you take alleged problems and blindly post them, sharing hate and not light, with no effort to actually diminishing the hate you claim to dislike.”

“By the way”, I continued, “If you are going to focus on agenda-centric hate, there is always someone hurting someone, black versus white, gay versus straight, one religion versus another, etc.  If you are going to make a Life out of merely sharing these stories without getting to root causes and cures, you are going to be a very busy, very bitter person.”

I guess he had hoped that I would give him an opinion that he wanted to hear and not what he needed to hear.

He hung up and horror of horrors, he unfriended me.

I was devastated.

Not really – but in a world where we are the company we keep, my personal network IQ average just went up as a result.

When a person shares hateful, unverified, venomous stories with no intention of checking out authenticity and without an eye towards answering the questions “How can I make this world better?” and “Does blindly sharing this make the world better or worse?”, I wonder one of two things:

  1. Does this person have an agenda of their own?
  2. Is this person so weak or easily manipulated that they are vulnerable to be used by others who have their own agenda?

Because anyone who can think on their own and who is actually focused on measurable actions that make the world a better place could surely see that such sharings accomplish nothing of the sort.

Meanwhile, people are protesting across the country, screaming “This is not my President” in reference to Trump.

Such delicate wallflowers who have gotten too used to an overly politically correct world where saying “boo” offends someone should realize one thing:

Trump, for better or for worse, was elected fairly in the greatest democratic process on Earth (despite all its shortcomings).  That is something to be championed and not complained about.  As I noted in the past, Americans complaining about their President-elect fail to recognize that the winner is not an aberration of their society but is in fact a product of it.  Given that, who else could win other than someone who represents a natural evolution of their society?  If someone doesn’t like the result of the election, rather than examine the winner, we must examine the system that produced the winner.

Because if we protest too long and too loud about not liking the result and insist on continuing to complain until we get a result we like (however long it takes), we might wake up some day and find that someone has taken away our right to protest or to choose a leader (see my musings on Executive Directive 51).

And then we will have something to scream about.

But by then, we won’t be allowed to use our voice.

The Bottom Line

A lot of things are right in our amazing world.

A lot of things are screwed up.

We make our world better when we cherish, share and magnify the things we do well and we take action against the things that we believe need to be fixed.

Merely pushing “Like” or “Share” on social media (especially when magnifying the problem with no effort towards a solution) doesn’t accomplish anything useful nor does screaming in the streets that “I’m affronted because I didn’t get my way” .

If you are not careful about finding answers and instead, merely promote problems, you will likely create the very things you are afraid of..  You can’t reclaim light and love by merely promoting hatred.

You have a voice – knowing how and when to use it effectively is what makes it a powerful tool for change.

Do you know how to use your voice?

Are you sure?

Because if you don’t know how to use it effectively for positive change, you are not part of the problem.

You are the problem.

Is that how you would like to be remembered?

Is that the best you can do for your family, your country and the world?

What do you intend to do about it?

When do you intend to start?

The world is waiting for you - what are you waiting for?

In service and servanthood,


PS Rex Murphy highlights in a calm, rational way, how Donald Trump won the election in this YouTube video. A disturbing and accurate reflection on politicians and the people who elect them.

Addendum - November 11, 2016

My great friend Keith G. shared this quote from Thic Nhat Hanh and an observation which I found important to share. It reads:

"When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change."

Keith then noted: Hate, blaming, violence will never lead to anything positive. We need to make the effort to understand each other. We’re all rational human beings and we all have our reasons. The more we understand, the more we can progress. We’re all in this together.

It is ironic (and sad) that on this day, November 11, 2016, when we pause to thank people (military and first responders) who sacrifice every day for us, that the US struggles with accepting the election of Donald Trump. Those who serve, whether in military or as a first responder, do things we wouldn't have the courage to do for people whom they will never meet so that we have the freedom to do as we please. While we must be careful to not take this freedom for granted nor the gift and the sacrifice of those who serve, people protest, not because a travesty of justice has been served, but because they didn't get their way.

In their effort to promote their fear of what could happen under a Trump government, they create the very thing they fear with protests that have turned violent, with flag burning and the like. It's as if to say, "If Trump wins, he will burn down the country - if he wins and the country doesn't burn down, then we will burn it down instead".

Where is the sense in that?

Where is the gratitude for those who have served and died, that we can be mature enough to collaborate towards a better world instead of being spoiled people who whine because we can't have our own way?

It doesn't take much courage to complain about not getting our own way and to lash out and hurt others under the guise of creating something better.

Where has the courage to do the right thing fled?

Thank a veteran today for his or her courage - these people set an example that, while we should be following, we seem to have lost sight of.

Let's work harder to rediscover the courage they showed (and show) - Lest We Forget.

Addendum 2 - Where Are the "Leaders"? - November 12, 2016

As the demonstrations grow larger and more violent, where are people like Hillary Clinton and Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, people who should be reaching out and asking for a proper sense of decorum during the transition of power?

Harry Reid is stirring up emotions with inflammatory remarks like this.

And Hillary Clinton is nowhere to be seen.

Neither are exhibiting the actions of a leader. Watching this blow up serves their need, even if at the expense of the people.

And so why do the minions follow them, blindly sharing unsubstantiated stories of hate to add fuel to the fire?

It doesn't matter to those in power - hatred is one of the most useful tools of manipulation and they are exploiting it to the fullest.

It's too bad that those who are manipulated aren't intelligent enough to see it.

The possibility of Executive Directive 51 looms closer.

If it gets invoked, it won't matter what your opinion is - you won't be allowed to share it.

For those who crave power, it won't matter either - they will have the power they seek.

Now that's something to collaborate together to prevent.

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