By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion
Originally published October 12, 2020
The election season craziness here in America exemplifies the need to return to the heart. Most of us, including me, have been caught in the maelstrom of American politics. I’ve repeatedly argued my side and found unsurprisingly that I’ve brought nobody new into my corner.
For someone with liberal and conservative values, I find it hard to navigate this political climate in a time when everyone wants you to pick a side and fight for it. By arguing with those I consider to be on the wrong side of history, I’ve helped nobody. I have only driven people away.
I don’t want to argue. I’m tired of cringing at viewpoints I consider ignorant and fighting against them, only to invite another vitriolic debate. I can string together some words to argue for my beliefs and slander someone online. But I don’t like to because it achieves nothing.
The right and left both assume righteousness and will continue to fight after the election. I’ll leave the fighting to them; I need peace. The more I fight, the further I drift from a state of mind I consider truly righteous.
If the election can teach us anything, it’s that we would all benefit from a little meditation and a big dose of self-awareness. By falling into collective insanity every four years, we hinder our potential to become wiser, more self-aware, and compassionate.
We fail to contribute to a heart-centered rebellion that can be far more effective than political rebellion.
I’ve learned from countless emotionally charged “debates” that arguing isn’t my cup of tea. I prefer to address the world’s problems from the heart, with a sense of empathy. I consider this to be a true rebellion against hate.
I will rebel by treating you like a human being regardless of which politician you support. My rebellion brings a message that should be understood universally: most of us are doing what we think is best for humanity. I may not agree with you, and I have an especially low tolerance for ignorant behavior or speech.
But I will not dehumanize you.
It is perfectly reasonable to resist politicians who represent our worst qualities: apathy, greed, prejudice, and a self-serving perversion of compassionate ideals (i.e. pretending to care about the public to get their vote). But you should pay attention to how you resist. If you let the fight against them turn you cold and hateful, you are already losing.
This is a spiritual war. You lose when you let all this chaos take the place of love and compassion.
I know from experience. In the past couple of months, I’ve made some toxic posts on social media arguing for or against various political and conspiratorial matters. I’ve fallen into the trenches and resorted to the hateful language to which social media has desensitized us. On a bad day, I’ll probably do it again.
I’ve gained nothing from it, aside from a few more allies. It’s made me realize that my fight is not verbal. There are no words I can say or write that will change any minds. Instead, I’ll use the lack of love in our society as an opportunity to show more empathy.
I’ve stated this repeatedly and probably will again: now more than ever, the world needs love and compassion. Call me a hippie, but throughout 2020, I’ve said and written my share of hateful words as I drifted further from my purpose. I’ve decided I’m not here to argue or loathe the other side. I’m here for love.
This is my line in the sand. In a divisive time when I look soft for standing up for compassion, I’m doubling down on this idea of an openhearted rebellion. I’ll be the 60s-era hippie stuffing flowers into the guns of the establishment’s goons.
I don’t expect everyone to understand, and I know some will laugh. That’s okay. I invite you to join me, lay down your arms, and take up a fight that is not political, but spiritual.
In this struggle, you will find far more allies than enemies.
Wes Annac =)