On Acceptance

I was originally going to rewrite this, as it started as a journal entry, but I think I’ll just type it up as is. I will, however, add description on a key character.

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Annoyance with Trump won’t get me anywhere. Anybody can be Trump. He is not unique.

The way to win is not hating them or pushing them to a corner of the internet so they can wallow in hatred for others AND themselves, like Greg.

Let’s talk about Greg: he’s my mom’s ex-boyfriend, who lived in our house for about a year. He was unemployed for nine months of that year, as he got fired for showing up drunk to work and yelling at his boss.

He was, and I gander he still is, an alcoholic.

When mom finally broke it off with Greg and got him situated in his apartment, not ONLY did he get so drunk he passed out on the couch and didn’t help her move his ten-ton furniture – but during Thanksgiving he got so drunk he went outside, fell off a retainer wall by the driveway, and passed out in 30 degree Fahrenheit weather for about 3 hours. He had to be life-flighted to the hospital, wherein he told the doctor, “I don’t have a drinking problem.”

You know, like a liar.

Greg lied a lot, not just about drinking.

Greg is also an avid Trump supporter.

Of all the people I have met in my life, Greg is the most like Donald Trump.

And here’s the thing: Greg. HATED. Himself.

He would moan about how he was such an awful person, and never did a damn thing to fix it.

The problem is the only people who can change them are themselves. You yourself can’t change them or their opinions.

Compassion and forgiveness CAN help – they are not the only cure-all, especially in situations like this, but it’s certainly more effective than relegating these people to sit in the corner, aka the dark hug-boxes for people like them on the internet.

I am reminded of the scenario illustrated in The Zen Book by Daniel Levin, about the priest and the baby. It goes like this:

A young, unwedded girl from the village gave birth to a baby. She said the father was the priest who lived in town. The girl’s parents came to the priest and demanded he care for the baby, to which he said, “Is that so?”

Disgraced by the town, the priest took the baby and raised her as his own child. Years later, the mother of the baby confessed and said the father was not the priest, but a young man who worked in the fields. The parents of the girl came to the priest to apologize and ask for the baby to be returned. And the priest said, “Is that so?”

Only the girl and the parents could change their ideas. No amount of debate the priest could give would change their mind. The only thing he could do was roll with the punches and keep moving forward.

It’s not about trying to prove yourself right in the eyes of others. What matters is that you are right with yourself. Accept the truth when others choose to ignore it.

And here’s the truth: we all have the capacity to be Greg. Or Trump. But we also have the capacity to be Martin Luther King, JR. and Mother Theresa.

It’s up to us how we want to move forward, and to do right with ourselves.

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.