By Ora Nadrich
Chaos, confusion, and uncertainty have become the new normal in American politics. The impeachment investigation dominates the national news as the House of Representatives investigates whether President Trump should be removed from office for asking the government of Ukraine to help discredit top Democratic presidential contender Senator Joe Biden. The public is sharply divided in their political beliefs. This extends beyond whether they back our unconventional commander in chief, to the point where people with one set of political beliefs demonize those with another belief. The bitterness this generates is wearing on us all.
American society is coming to the realization that it’s going to take a very different approach to help us bridge the deep fissure between our perceived “us and them.” We must get past the same old mudslinging and finger-pointing rhetoric. There’s too much arguing and hostility going on between both parties. The civil discourse that enables us find common ground has become lost. Continually arguing and discrediting each other over the issues that plague our political system does nothing to provide for possible solutions. Americans have grown weary of partisan fighting and are losing faith in this country and its leaders, regardless of their party.
Instead, if we actually want to make America great again, we need Mindfulness to show us the way. Mindfulness is a practice that allows us to become present and aware. In today’s political atmosphere, it can make us more conscious about how we talk to one another. Mindfulness will change our discourse so that we are more considerate and effective at problem solving. It’s a tremendously valuable skill inherent in each of us, and that clearly would improve our current political environment.
A border wall is a very powerful symbol that represents more than just keeping illegal immigrants out of our country. It also signifies the invisible wall that’s keeping Americans divided. Until we recognize that we need to become more mindful in how we speak to one another, even if we disagree, then both parties will continue to remain entrenched in their separate camps.
We must look within for the answers to lead us out of this stalemate. When we plead for more compassion for immigrants held in inhumanely in detention centers, but then display hate for those we disagree with politically, then we, too, act in a heartless way. What will it take to come together in a way that doesn’t make every issue a partisan problem? How can we move beyond this malice?
Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or Independent, or belong to the Green, Libertarian or Peace and Freedom party — or even are unaffiliated — allow Mindfulness to broaden your point of view. If more of our politicians and leaders practiced Mindfulness and displayed genuine concern not only for how they’d fix our country’s problems, but also for how to remain present and aware through the words they choose, the tone of their voice, the listening skills they employ, the unwavering patience they model and the honesty and integrity they exude, we could forge a new course toward healing.
We must listen to our leaders carefully and decipher whether what they’re saying is compassionate, intelligent and mindful. Do they remind us of the need for civil discourse by the way in which they speak? Will they elevate the American spirit that at its core represents integrity and civility?
We all yearn to leave behind this vitriol and shift toward a new era of respect and unity. To make this happen, we must be present. We must be aware. We must be mindful. And we must use our words kindly and wisely, no matter our political leanings, for the betterment of this country.
About the author: Ora Nadrich is the founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, also available as an audio book. A certified life coach and mindfulness teacher, she specializes in transformational thinking, self-discovery, and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at theiftt.org.