Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's have lunch - how to take our power back from a dysfunctional political system

To the degree that we are cleansed from the dominating lower energies of our subconscious, will be the degree of the impact we will have on the world as a whole. Each one of us just by living & being are changing the world every day, we just have to choose what exact change we are looking for, if any. - Ron Hansen

Here is a great idea for maturizing the upcoming election process. For those who dare to do ...

How do we take our power back from a dysfunctional political system?

Several weeks ago I was sitting at lunch with a friend who stands somewhere on the opposite side of the political fence from me. We were sharing a nice afternoon with his family, my family and some of his kids, and he brought up one of the proverbial "off limits" topics.. something politically charged. He began to talk about an issue that is very politically charged at this time, and clearly he had personal feelings and sentiments mixed passionately in with it as well. I listened attentively and openly, with openminded detachment. But then I too felt so passionately about my own viewpoints and perspectives that I found myself chiming in, something that I rarely choose to do when politics are concerned. But this was different. And this Time in history (herstory?) is different. It is a time of great change and global calllings. And it is so important that we "the people" get it together and begin the peacemaking and discussion and reordering/compromising/harmonizing ourselves. I know we can do it. I know we are all ultimately of the same human heart. So...

I shared my views while holding the space for us both to be equally heard and respected. Yes, the discussion got a bit heated, although it stayed friendly. And when we wrapped it up, and brought it mostly to a close, he said "Alexa, there is no one else I would rather have this discussion with than you." After which his nearly 80-year old mother gave me a fast high five. Like, wow! I can't believe you did that. It made me smile. We had peacefully, though passionately, shared our seemingly-opposing views on a heated issues, and we even followed the discussion with him sharing some interesting and potential-filled ideas on how we could make compromise and possibly solve some of these issues with some ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking and ideas. We had ideas on the table to make effective and humane change. Were we only leaders in Washington at this time! We're not, of course, but it goes to show that we ALL have friends on all sides of the political spectrum and we each have something to contribute to the solutions. We can not only get along, but actually come up with ideas that both of us can feel settled with, but more importantly, that work.

I am passionate about seeing new order and maturity coming into our lives and world. Of finding peaceful and swift solutions to today's potential dangers and problems. And today, wth the impending election process quickly creeping up on us, and with so many critical national and global issues now in our hands, from environmental to economic stability and sustainablity, I am taking a real look into how we can take our power back as voters. For no matter which 'side' of the fence we stand, left, right, middle or something else, the obvious majority of us can clearly see that the emotional immaturity and dysfunction being acted out already in these early days of pre-election is not only an embarassment in the global community, but foolish as well.

"We the people" are clearly all collectively tired of the outrageously dysfunctional behaviors we see displayed so unabashedly during these political times. Emotional outbursts based on nothing but perhaps old unprocessed wounding, elementary school-like finger pointing, name calling, void of intellegent or mature discourse, adults acting out like children caught in unfounded temper tantrums and ridiculous rants while on televsion and abroad. Where is the honor? Where is the self-respect? There is none. It is such dishonorable behavior. As voters we simply should not give them the time of day. Thus putting out our call for mature human beings who want to become part of a new government body. This is, after all, a time of genuine crisis and wake-up calls.

What so many of us are seeing and feeling and wanting now more than ever, and finally, in these problematic but also potential-filled times, is the fulfillment and co-creation of a new and more mature, functional, government system. That requires mature and functional people to take on these positions.

We know we have the technology, to clean up our earth, the brains, to solve the challenges, the consciousness, to do the right and humanistic things, to make the world a better place. For a more peaceful, clean, and yes, more sane and safe (and dare I say happy?) tomorrow.

So how do we the people create this more effective, and frankly, grown-up, political body? The answer is, of course, the same as it always is: recovery. We have to first take responsibiltiy for our own unconscious patterning. To be the peace, the sanity, the groundedness we want to see in the world. By taking resonsiblity for our own stuff, our own consciousness and conscientiouness during this electoral time, and year-round frankly.

Want a new paradigm? I know I do. Here is a great power-enhancing idea from Elizabeth Lesser that can point all of us into a much needed new direction. And it is not a foreign idea to me. For I too already know, that we ARE all one people. And no matter what our so-called political leanings, we all have friends and neighbors with differing views on certain things that we already live in harmony with who are in our lives everyday.

So let's have lunch! Here is the article:

Why You Should Take Your Demons to Lunch
By Elizabeth Lesser

Looking past divisive politics and differing views to the person on the other side of the issue may be challenging, but it's not impossible. Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of the Omega Institute and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, suggests starting with lunch.

"Otherising" is the dangerous act of turning someone into the enemy just because he or she looks different, prays different, speaks different, or thinks different. Some of history's most tragic events—wars, genocides, terrorist acts—began with ordinary people demonizing other ordinary people.

I noticed a remarkable amount of otherising during the 2008 presidential race. And there was one woman doing it who bothered me the most—me! I'm a true believer in our capacity to care and cooperate, but there I was, participating in otherising rants, calling whole groups of people evil wrongdoers, though I had never talked to them.

Which is how I came to find myself having lunch with an activist from the other side, talking about our kids, jobs, and hopes for society. It was the first of many such meetings I've had in the years since in an attempt to breed civility in my heart. I call my experiment Take the Other to Lunch.

First, think of a person you may be otherising—maybe a woman from a different side of the abortion debate or your brother who doesn't believe in global warming. Next, tell that person you'd like to understand him or her better. Ask if they would like to do the same with you. Agree to these ground rules: Be curious, conversational, and real. Don't persuade or interrupt. Listen, listen, listen. (You can start by asking: What were some of your most defining experiences? What issues deeply concern you? What have you always wanted to ask someone from the "other side"?)

Will the heavens open and "We Are the World" start playing over the restaurant's sound system? Doubtful. But in the lunches I have shared, I have grown in compassion and patience. And as another election nears, perhaps if enough of us take each other to lunch, we can give our country the civility makeover it needs.

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