Last week, there was dancing in the streets, all across the United States. Those who had voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be President and Vice-President of the United States were celebrating with a sense of joy and relief.
What caused such an outpouring of joyous emotion? Individuals reported that we can stop fearing the worst from a tweet. Others said that we could get back to a sense of normalcy, rather than fearing the worst of possible options around how people are to be treated. No more suffering at the hands of an individual or individuals who seem to lack the basic compassion and kindness that make for a sense of purpose and a caring connection with one another.
With the election results, we have moved from denial and ignorance to a belief in looking at the reality of a pandemic that is causing havoc all over the world. We are turning from opinions about life issues, to the facts of what it is that lies before us to address. We are moving from the society of an ugly American to the compassion and caring that defines who we are, at our best, as human beings.
A need to express who we are
We have a need to feel and express who we are with one another. When we are not able to do so, we feel a void in our lives and the world becomes dark and anxious. The more that we turn our backs on ourselves, the more divided we feel, and the more painful life becomes. Such was the case during the Trump era. The more we are at one with who we are, the more peace and joy we experience.
The Dalai Lama beautifully defines who we are and what we need to experience and express in our lives:
“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbeliever, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally and mentally we are all equal. We all share basic needs of food, shelter, safety and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture and language makes no difference.”
And the Dalai Lama goes on to say,
“Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature. Even tiny insects survive by co-operating with each other. Our own survival is so dependent on the help of others that a need for love lays at the very core of our existence. This is why we need to cultivate a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.”
Rather than reacting and protecting ourselves from one another, our need is to respond to life with awareness, compassion and kindness. In essence, our need is to treat one another as we would like to be treated.
With the results of the presidential election, we have turned a page on where we are in life. We have reconnected with ourselves, and turned away from the sources of alienation that have and will always cause us to experience suffering. The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has restored us to ourselves, and we have responded with the joy and relief that inspires us to dance in the streets.
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