Living Separate Lives

Categories Buddhism, Christianity0 Comments
Labels are not my specialty. I usually operate somehow between them so please do not stick any label to this reflection. It is not a Buddhist, nor a Catholic and not even a Polish perspective. My language is not using ‘I’ willingly so Buddhism was always somehow natural for me but this is ‘my’ perspective. Whoever this humble ‘I’ is.

My first reaction to the news about the outcome of the presidential election was a feeling of deep compassion. I thought ‘How will those poor Americans deal with the situation when at least a big part of them will not be proud to say the least of their president?’. This was always something that I liked about the U.S.; that you seem to be proud of your presidents. I was never so lucky to feel it in my country. There were sometimes happy years when I was not deeply ashamed when I thought about the president of my country but no more than that. So maybe you can use it as an opportunity for empathy for all the people around the world who are in a similar situation as you are now, and see it as an occasion to express gratitude that you were lucky for so long.

The next thing was (and it made me deeply sad) that none of my American friends who voted for Ms. Clinton knew anybody who voted for Mr. Trump.  It may mean two things and both caused me to feel a deep sorrow. First, that there are two separate worlds in the U.S. and one knows little about the other. They are not in contact with each other. How can one live in a country so deeply divided that there is no communication and therefore no understanding possible? The second option is that many people who voted for Mr. Trump do not admit it publicly. That they are ashamed or afraid because of their choice. I cannot imagine less freedom than not being able to freely express one’s opinions and choices without fear or shame. For that to happen in the country that is the ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave’ seems almost impossible for me. And from my perspective, it is far more tragic than any person sitting in the White House.
Katarzyna Misiak is a Polish translator and student of Buddhist teacher Lee Ray. She lives in Warsaw, Poland.

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