My New Strategy: Don’t Click on All the Trump Rants

It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.   — Mahatma Gandhi

What would Ganhdi do?

My new strategy is to not click on all the Trump rants, both for him and against him and from the man himself. Not clicking on the rants is my new strategy for bringing a little more peace to earth – at least to my little corner.  I desperately need a new strategy, because right now, clicking on Trump rants seems to inject more angst, fearfulness and mean spiritedness into my own brain, and the brains of my  friends and family. For my own health, and the health of the planet, I need to stand back from such injections, such clicking.

I try to start my day with a little peace of mind– coffee and quiet, maybe some reading in uplifting books or whatnot.  I assume that if I want to experience an artfully  peaceable day, I need to start with at least a little artfully peaceable time as my  springboard. (See The Monks and Nuns Daily Discipline.) But my cell phone sits right next to my meditation chair, and occasionally I am not thinking, and turn it on, and start clicking into what turns out to be very un-peaceable  zones—like  Facebook, and Tweet Ville and my own inbox.

Once again this morning on Facebook I found many of my friends – and some of my family– ranting for and against Trump. Most of my friends are aghast at him. A few family members  support  him. I myself see him as a Boy Bully– a man who never matured out of boyhood, a  junior high “Richie Rich” boyhood where most of his classmate tried to please him, went along with whatever he said and did  just  because his daddy owned the cookie jar. (Sorry about that little rant. Just ignore it, if you can.)

Going from the peace of my meditation chair to the Trump Rant field on Facebook made it quite clear what such rants were doing to my brain. That’s when I knew I needed to experiment with this new non-click strategy.

Yes, I know: I’m going to have to be very brave to not click on all the Trump rants.  I do worry that if I ignore Trump’s own childish rants, and his intentionally mean, spiteful actions, that I may be neglecting my social responsibility. I fear that if I don’t click on him, the world will be worse off.  That he’ll get away with murder—murder  of our environment,  murder of our educational system, murder of our foreign relations, murder of our one man, one vote system– murder of integrity and grace and dignified leadership.

The majority of people seem to suggest that we  can’t just not click on Trump.  Many fear that Trump may be the biggest danger America has faced in its entire  240 year history.  We can’t just ignore him, not click on him. The stakes are too high/

We tell each other that it is our mutual yet individual responsibility to  get outraged along with the majority of people in the country who did not vote for him. And it is our mutual, and individual responsibility to confront the minority of people who do support him.

But this exact same outrage and confrontation has  been the strategy—on one side of the fence– since his nomination. And outrage and confrontation has continued to be the strategy since his election.  And supposedly, this will be the strategy for the next four years, if he avoids impeachment that long.

But let’s admit—or at least I have to admit— at least for me, that strategy simply, clearly, has not worked, is not working to bring more peace, more justice, more sanity to earth.  At least to my corner.

Here’ my thinking: By not clicking on the Trump rants, the rants  for him and against  him and by him—by ignoring the rants  I’m simply not giving the Boy Bully  any more energy. Mental, emotional or  physical. He obviously thrives on rants,  somehow needs the rant energy, thrives on rant energy, to fulfill his agenda.  Ranting is his game.

So I’m stepping back from the rant  game, just as the student of jiu-jitsu learns to step back from the charging opponent, and uses the opponents own bull in a china shop clumsiness to subdue him.  I’m no longer willing to meet rant with rant. It hasn’t worked (for either me or Hilary.)

The “don’t click on the rants” strategy comes, at least in part, from a poem I once memorized in Junior High by Rudyard Kipling, which begins:

If you can keep your head when all about you// Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,//If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, // But make allowance for their doubting too;//If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,//  Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,//Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,..”

A tall order, this. But wisdom, too.

Just as Gandhi was wise when he said, “It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.”

Here’s the experiment: Even though the strategy is to not click on the rants, we absolutely need to continue with the work we are doing, and have been doing — – whether the work is real estate, or music, or painting, or teaching, or environmental research or policy making— we need to not only continue with the work we are doing but we must do it better than we have ever done it before in our lives. For this we need clear heads and great energy, and purpose and direction. Rants rob us of all of all these.

While not clicking on the rants, we of course continue to engage the  Gandalf -Nuremberg  Strategy… we quietly refuse the crack-pot demands of this new administration, wherever and whenever they impinge on the harmony of our daily world, just as the brave, wise folks at the Department  of Energy recently did by refusing Trump’s illegal request for a list of names of employees who attended climate change conferences.

We continue with our daily work, our long-term dream,  as we have been doing for forty years,  of  creating, evolving a more just, more open, more equitable society, if only in our own little corner.   We can not click on all the Trump rants yet  continue to bring  more justice to our courts,  more  wisdom to our schools,  a lighter touch and gentler insights to our environment, near and far.  And we must do so with more energy, more humor, more precision than ever before we have done.

We have a mighty work ahead of us.  Getting angry and fearful, staying angry and fearful, won’t help our cause. We need all the energy, the clear headedness, the good humor and compassion that we can muster.  That’s why my current strategy—experiment– is to no longer click on Trump rants.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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