This week we are taking a small break from releasing a new conversation. Work obligations got in the way, and because we want to do justice to all our guests, we decided to take a break from releasing a new episode rather than rushing the final product. We will be back next week with a new episode. I want to take this opportunity to share my reactions to the divisiveness we are experiencing.
Last week, we experienced the conclusion of a very intense election process here in the US. Unfortunately, both the campaign and the results brought up a lot of divisiveness, and showed a very nasty side of our society. I think that no matter who had won the elections, this would have been a heavy-hearted week. I witnessed a lot of sadness in my circles, which lean mostly towards the more liberal side of politics, and nation-wide we are experiencing protests and fights in response to the results of the elections. On the other hand, we saw a surge in hate speech and discrimination, echoing the campaign’s rhetoric. And we saw people from both side belittling the opinions of those with opposing views. Both sides have casted stones, and the nation seems, more than ever before, divided and focused on us vs them.
While I have my opinions on the topic, I donâ€™t want to use this platform to make a statement on either party or the results of the elections. I do want to comment on the divisiveness we are experiencing. We are focusing too much on the parties and not enough on people. We are putting personal beliefs before the nationâ€™s greater good, and using these beliefs to oppress others. I want to urge everyone to think of us as a whole, think of your neighbor, think of what will make us all better, stronger, and happier as a nation, and how we can use that to improve the world around us. It takes a lot of energy to lift each other up, but it takes just as much energy to bring each other down; at least if we work together we will be better off, and we will build a happier, more sustainable, and viable society.
If you listened to my interview on HiRes last week, you should now that Iâ€™m an optimist, and I think we are much better than we were in the past, but I also believe we are going through troubled times, and we need to work together to make it through.
This week I will share on social media some of our past episodes that I believe will help us reflect; please go back and listen as we process the current situation. Here is a list of my selection and why I picked them:
â€” Episode 1: Josh Silverman. His focus on people, and how helping others makes him happy is inspiring and can help us think of our neighbors and how we relate to others in a new way.
â€” Episode 4: Rabbi Manis Friedman. While Rabbi Friedman focuses on Judaism, I think his message of working towards a higher purpose rather than focusing on our own needs is fairly universal, and most important in these times.
â€” Episode 19, Always Happy with Jocelyn Park. Jocelyn talks about welcoming newcomers to Lancaster and helping build a community with them. Her optimism and positive energies are contagious, and I hope they bring some light to your day.
â€” Episode 23. Find Your Passion, Protect What You Love, with Warren Neilson. Warren talks about sustainability, making a better world for everyone, and thinking more about the consequences of our choices before succumbing to our wants. A much needed message.
â€” Episode 24. Happiness Without Borders, with Maggie Giele. We hear about Maggieâ€™s experience traveling around the world, adapting to different cultures, and how a single act of kindness from a stranger changed her.
â€” Episode 28. The Art of Entertaining, with Kristina Erfe Pines. Kristina uses food and entertainment to unite people. Kristinaâ€™s sense of community and bringing people together is the perfect metaphor for our nation: we need to invite more people to break bread together.
â€” Episode 34. Spreading Love and Happiness, with Shirley Landis. Making others happy makes Shirley happy. Making someone smile is a win for her. How much better could we be if more of us thought this way!
I want to encourage everyone to think deeply about how we can improve our world. Hate won’t do it. And I believe there is definitely a way to advance together for the greater good, without having to stomp over those who see the world through a different lens. At the end of the day, we will only be happy if we work together and support each other. And as the Dalai Lama said, the very point of life is to be happy.
Thank you for listening. Weâ€™ll see you next week with a new episode
Links / Read / See / Hear
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
RocÃo CastaÃ±eda for ongoing support; follow RocÃo on instagram.