All the time.
I try hard to always be kind. It's my belief that if each one of us made kindness a top priority we could set the world spinning in a better direction. That's why I felt a small twinge of regret after I hit the Publish button on last week's blog. The blog concluded with dictionary definitions of the word gross conjuring up Donald Trump in my mind. While from my point of view, rude, offensive, and disgusting aptly describe the man, certainly there are many others who think differently. I realized after I sent out the post that it really wasn't in keeping with my policy of responding to whatever comes my way with kindness. Here is where the dilemma arises.
Some of us are born with a truly kind nature and others come into the world with sarcasm in our DNA. I can usually find the absurdity in just about anything we humans do and once I find it, I want to have fun with it. The tricky part is knowing where to draw the line so that what I'm saying doesn't upset someone else while it's making me laugh.
So is it okay for me to label Donald Trump gross and poke a bit of fun at him in my blog promoting love and spirituality? Is this a productive way to counteract hate? The rule of thumb I've developed in regard to talking about other people is to ask myself if I would say what I'm saying if I were face-to-face with the person. I applied that rule to my comment about Trump and concluded that if he showed up at my house I would welcome him with a hug and a cup of tea, as I would any other human being. If he looked me in the eye and asked me why I called him gross, I'd have no trouble explaining that to him. I'd then communicate that even though I'm appalled by his hateful behavior, I don't hate him. Babies come with their own distinctive personalities and as they grow, outside influences shape their characters.
Rather than hypothesize about what went wrong with Baby Donald, I'm just going to make it my business to use his arrogance to bring out more love in me. Whenever we bristle at what someone else says, it means our egos have been challenged in some way. We tend to take it personally when people don't think like we do. Well, that's pretty dumb, isn't it? Diversity is what makes life so magical.
Donald Trump and his mystifyingly large band of supporters have surfaced to bring to our attention what we all need to work on. Absolutely the only cure for hatred and pettiness is love. I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to spend all day and all night figuring out how in the world they can learn to love Donald Trump. The best place to practice unconditional love is with yourself. It's impossible to truly love someone else if you don't truly love yourself. If every day you work at making the most of your human experience and love yourself for putting in the effort, your heart soon overflows with more than enough love to share. If you don't fill your own heart with love you have to rely on outside sources to fill the emptiness, and that will never be enough.
If we're always kind to others but continuously berate ourselves, the good that we accomplish is tarnished by the ulterior motive of fulfilling a need within ourselves by helping someone else. When we are brimming with genuine love for ourselves, the love we have to share is so much more potent.
I think many of us aren't quite as nice as we think we are. When my house was full of daughters, I was very grateful to be a full-time mom. I loved my job and considered myself almost as wise and patient as Marmee, the mother of four daughters in Little Women. One day the kids were playing with a tape recorder. When they played back the tape I couldn't believe what I heard. In the background Mommy sounded like a shrew, the way I was crabbing at the girls. I had no idea I could sound like that. What a revelation to hear the nastiness I was unaware of coming out of me! Ever since then I've been working on being kind no matter what and although I've made much progress, little bitch bubbles still pop out here and there. When they do, all I need to do is look at them and they go away. After they go away I forgive myself for veering off my path because I'm only human and then I hug myself for trying again. Self awareness is the key to righting all personal wrongs.
Last week, after careful consideration, I concluded that the image of me finding Donald Trump behind my dryer could potentially bring smiles to a lot of faces with no meanness intended. I'm less terrified of Donald Trump when I picture him popping out from behind my dryer. The next time you're doing laundry, imagine whoever you're not particularly fond of hiding behind your dryer and it might help to bridge the gap between you. You might want to reach back there and shake the person's hand and tell them you're a really great person so you'd like to try to understand where they're coming from. Then the next time you see them you can picture them peeking out over your dryer's control panel and that will make you feel so silly you won't want to bother with personality conflicts.