“We don’t discuss religion or politics.”
Last week, I was moved by a statement made by Cynthia Boureault, a priest of the Episcopal Church. Again, I paraphrase: You completed your meditation and you pick up your meditation cushion. So what?
The remark I quoted from an anonymous friend as I was introduced to a group of their friends makes me ask this same question. So what?
I notice a similar attitude with people I’ve met at church groups. “We don’t discuss politics.”
If I profess a religious belief like “In God we trust.” or a spiritual practice, how can I not be engaged in the work of the politicians I helped elect? How can I not be engaged in the national expressions of our collective agreement in a statement like “In God we trust”?
Spirituality is a relationship with a power greater than myself, or the power of myself (for those who do not profess a spiritual or religious practice). My lifestyle is an expression of this spiritual practice. My refusal to discuss the intent of my expression is a refusal to act on my spirituality, right?
So? What is it going to be? I engage in a relationship with self or a Power greater than myself, or I don’t.
Personally, I don’t know how not to be political any more than I do not know how to be spiritual. As you hear in most all of my writing, we are in relationship. As such, I have no choice but to express my spirituality in my lifestyle. That lifestyle is one of inter dependence. I do not exist in a vacuum. I rely on others for most every aspect of my life. Others have a responsibility to the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the vehicles I drive, the water I drink, the air I breath................ I simply cannot go it alone.
I need to take a breath because I feel an intensity, a desire to convince you that I am right. To preach.....
So, I’ll slow down and become mindful.
I am becoming mindful of the fact that it is easy to discuss politics, spirituality, lifestyles, etc. with those who agree with me. I find it much more difficult to ‘discuss’ differences because it is very difficult to listen to a different point of view. I find myself trying to convince you that I am right which obviously means that you are wrong.
THIS IS NOT DISCUSSION.
Now I will go on record asking your forgiveness when I am telling you how wrong you are rather than listening to you. I ask your forgiveness for inflating my opinion as if it were the only point of view. I thank you for your willingness to discuss politics, religion, spirituality, lifestyles, etc. because, when I practice listening from my heart, the beauty of our diversity comes alive.
We become amazing.