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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Sunday, 15 January 2017

#TRANSITIONING FROM GOOD TO BAD, FROM #BEST TO #WORST

Next Friday, January 20, #America transitions from the #President who (in my personal opinion) was the best, most gracious, #trustworthy and #statesmanlike who has served during my lifetime to one who (again, in my opinion) so far shows all the potential to be the worst, most ungracious, unethical and unpresidential in our lifetimes. In fact, #DonaldTrump could be as much of a #disruptor to U.S. and global politics as #Uber, #AirBnB and #Bitcoin have been to their particular industries, save that their disruption was generally for the greater good. I feel anxious about the possibilities of #isolationism, increased #separatism, #divisiveness, accelerated #climate_change, rising #radicalism and an assault on the world's #trade_agreements and #economy, to say nothing of #xenophobia, #sexism, #racism, and, and....I don't believe I am alone with my fears and concerns.

We all undergo #change in our lives and need to transition, sometimes from what we perceive as good to what we perceive as bad. The perception derives from our own reality and meaning that we put on the event. For example #Trump's ascendancy is a nightmare for Mexicans, but a God-send for Southern rednecks. The #Obamas' departure from the #White_House is a matter of sadness for many of us, but glee for the #Republicans.

Whatever, we think however, Life's reality remains the same: Trump is in, Obama is out, and we're stuck with the former for the next four years at least (barring an impeachment, which is not inconceivable). How do those of us seeing this as a change from best to worst transition? How do we not be fearful, how do we stay optimistic and above all, how do we live our lives?

Answer: why must anything change at all? Something else in the world has changed, but within ourselves we are not called on to make any change at all, if we choose not to do so. If we were happy and optimistic pre-Trump, we can remain happy and optimistic post-Trump. If we are suddenly fearful, depressed and resentful because of Trump, who has the power? Donald Trump, of course! We are allowing his boorishness, dishonest and narcissistic behavior determine how our lives should now be. As long as we feel resentful or hateful towards him, who is getting eaten up by the resentment? We are, of course! Trump doesn't know how we feel and, even if he did, he wouldn't give a monkey's.

So that's the first lesson of transition: don't give any power to the new circumstance in the change. Own your own power, feelings and capacity to address the change.

The second lesson is not to feel and act helpless and powerless in the face of the new circumstance. Just because trade deals could be torn up and climate change accelerated does not mean that we have no power of our own to forge links and effect climate saving measures, no matter how small they may seem at an individual level. On a consolidated joint level they become significant.

The third lesson is to live in a way which is congruent, aligns with the truth, good morals and everything else which is the opposite of what you find abhorrent about the new order. Just because the new situation is oozing evil and runs contrary to everything we hold dear in our lives does not mean we must become a part of the new normal for American Presidents (or whatever else happens to have changed and be bothering us). If sufficient people in the world stand by and actively live for what is good and right, we reach a moral tipping point which becomes irresistible to the forces of evil: think Berlin Wall, Arab Spring and Apartheid.

Finally, based on educated and thoughtful research and logic (not reactive fearfulness), make such changes to your personal affairs as will meet any new prospective risks arising from the new circumstance. If you can see the risk quite clearly for what it actually is, determine its potential impact on you and the likelihood of it arising, then you can take some steps to try and mitigate the impact if you think it's pretty likely to occur. Like move your house away from the shoreline, for instance, or start trading in Bitcoins.

There is so much we can do in times of change, but above all else we are called to stay real and true.

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