Our Independence is Killing Us
The 4th of July asks us, “What does it mean to be an American?” We cherish our independence while many people these days refuse to embrace the greater power of interdependence. This COVID crisis has pulled back the curtain and revealed our American values and character. Many of us value our independence at all costs, even if that means the death of other Americans.
The Regression Movement in America
From the beginning of this pandemic, many leaders have said that this crisis will create events that will define our character. For the rest of our lives, how we responded to the impending challenges we are facing during these tumultuous times. How mindful was your response to the immense threats we now face on so many levels?
I believe many Americans choose perversion and regression over mindful, enlightened, and loving responses to the challenges of this pandemic. We see significant group regression. Regression means reverting to primitive modes of expressing oneself and relating to others. Regressive groups have less tolerance for uncertainty and a reduced capacity for rational thinking, which leads to flawed and dangerous decision making.
This American regression movement sees the world as a us/them split. The “other” group is their enemy who are flawed in aspects of their behavior. They create their code of morality and definitions of freedom and individual rights.
I will give a couple of examples of why this regression is growing at a fevered pitch in America.
- COVID parties
Our country has now reached a level of moral and ethical perversion and despicable behavior. Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are throwing COVID parties with their friends. These young people at the party invite COVID positive students trying to contract this deadly virus intentionally. Friends gather together at parties and gamble on who gets sick first. Young people put their money in a pot and bet on who gets COVID first. This behavior is malignant narcissism at best, just pure evil, or probably both.
- Refusal of masks.
I can’t imagine living with myself if I thought I might have infected or possibly even killed another person or family by not wearing a mask and practicing mindful behavior during this pandemic. What the hell is going on in America? Countries around the world watch us with mixed emotions. Some think we are insane, others believe our behavior is a perversion, and others see us as funny and replay videos of mask altercations across America.
I am begging Americans to revision their role as what it means to be an American, especially during this pandemic. Your behavior and the choices you make now reflect your character today but will be eternal memories of your identity during these perilous times.
Mindful Living Core Values
I’d like to invite Americans to remember the core values of Mindful Living during these challenging times.
- Reverent Respect
A fundamental core value Mindful Living is living with reverent respect for all living things. Reverent respect means treating humans, animals, and the environment as sacred, with a sense of wonder, dignity, and curiosity. Showing reverent respect means wearing a mask to protect yourself and other members of our human family. Practice social distancing of at least six feet and be kind to others during this period of anxiety and unrest.
Kindness is a core tenant of mindfulness and the Mindful Living. Being considerate, tender, and helpful to all sentient beings is kindness. We are one human family. Kindness is living in a state of grace in our wounded world. Kindness creates powerful healing, loving energy.
Gratitude is the tender energy of an open, loving, and generous heart. Take a moment each day to thank all the people who are working to support your life. Thank the healthcare providers, the people who pick up your trash, the police officers and firefighters, the grocery store workers, and delivery people. There is a world of people sacrificing for you each moment of your life.
Compassion is at the very essence of the Mindful Living. The definition of compassion means “to suffer together,” or in Latin, it means, “to suffer with.” For example, we celebrate and also suffer as one human family sharing life’s journey. Compassion is not sympathy. It requires action and a response to the misfortune of others. As a result, compassion helps to make the world a more mindful place to live.