Archive for December, 2015

It’s become almost intolerable. The fear, anger, dissension, distrust running rampant on social media right now. One look at my Facebook feed and I could easily assume that all the chaos there reflects how things really are. Yet, I know that social media spreads emotions more than facts. We share post after post of fear-based warnings and strive to get people to believe what we believe, to see what we see, to agree with our perspective and yet, at the end of the day, all it does is leave us feeling that our world’s gone to hell. And hope walks out the door.

I don’t have answers for the issues of our day: gun control, terrorism, corrupt government officials. I do have political opinions; but I will keep those out of the public’s view. Why? Because adding one more opinion to the chaos won’t make one bit of difference.

Calling you back to yourself might.

Our world is made up of sheep, sheep dogs, wolves and shepherds. I am a spiritual shepherd and in my world, sheepdogs, sheep and wolves all need to be attended to. They all exist in their own right.

This weekend I was up in the mountains at a farm, standing next to a pen that held a dozen sheep. They weren’t used to strangers and when I approached the fence to gaze at them, they dashed in fear to the other side. My kids took up positions around the enclosure and the sheep, scared and without thinking, ┬áblindly dashed in one fluid motion from one end of the pen to the other. Not one of them stopped to think for themselves. When one sheep moved, they all moved. It was a survival instinct; the assumption that the crowd must know what is safe.

This is exactly how we are behaving on Facebook. And because we follow the crowd and assume it is with the crowd that we are safe, we get inundated in fear and anger and become outraged and everything grows vaster and scarier and out of control. And hope walks out the door.

I am not going to tell you that we don’t have a problem. We do. Every generation of Americans has faced divisive problems and enemies that killed us. We are not the first; we won’t be the last. The issues that divide us are not new; corrupt governments are not new, they go all the way back to our “founding fathers” (who, by the way, were a bunch of millionaires who wanted to create a place where they could evade paying taxes to their own governments and thus amass even more wealth. So they invaded a land, murdered the inhabitants, insisted that their religion was the only way, and forced everyone to live by their new rules. The intention of creating a land of freedom was not nearly as altruistic as we’d like to believe. Do not be blind to who we have been.). No, our problems are not new. What is new is that social media has us blindly dashing from one end of the pen to the other.

I am going to remind you that reacting from the energy of fear is not how we solve problems. I am going to remind you that as long as we move from fear, we have already lost. I am going to remind you that standing still while everyone else dashes, calmly assessing the situation and the actual level of threat, and responding with courage puts us back in our power.

Most of you are sheepdogs in our country and have been wolves in others. Stop trying to make the sheep into versions of yourself. Yelling at the sheep that wolves are approaching will not make the sheep into sheepdogs, will not make the wolves more real to them, nor will it stop them from dashing blindly from one end of the pen to the other. We have a responsibility to lead with calm confidence, not to get angry at the sheep for being sheep. Wolves exist. Wolves will always exist. They always have. We’ve been wolves ourselves more often than not. So, we don’t need to be surprised or angry at the fact that wolves exist. Wolves are a part of life. Human nature does not change.

We are beings of love and power. It is who we are. The value we assign to life varies as we move from being sheep to sheepdogs to wolves to shepherds. This is how it has always been. Figuring out the best way to protect the lives we value has always been part of being human.

I’m not saying that any of this is easy or simple.

I am saying that you have to live THIS day, right here and now. Which is why I’m writing this. To call you back to your Self.

I don’t have the ability to change the situation we are all in. I believe the best and wisest course of action is for me to not allow the situation to change who I am.

I believe this is true for each of us.

I believe we need to calmly remember that fear gives the enemy more power than he actually has. Fear gives our power away. Hatred only serves to empower our enemies and makes us weak. Not that we don’t all need to have more situational awareness and make wise and perhaps different decisions than we would have in the past; but that the best way to defeat an enemy is by living as if we’re not afraid of dying.