Knowledge and Compassion

NPR recently discussed a poll from NBC and the WSJ that illuminated who supports Donald Trump’s popularity in the presidential race. It seems that Trump is most popular among white males without a college degree who are conservative and angry at progress. These are the people the powerful prey on and manipulate. It appears to be another example of Republicans and the powerful taking advantage of the ignorant by appealing to their emotional needs and obfuscating the real issues. By emphasizing more emotional issues and skirting those that really matter, the powerful lure the vulnerable into supporting policies that only aid the rich.

Power should not be given to those who seek it, but to statesmen and women, those who are able to put others’ welfare before their own personal gain. Politicians are, unfortunately, in much greater supply. They have very little access to empathy, and are unable to make compassionate or wise decisions. Although not a politician, Donald Trump is an aggressive businessman, and like a politician, he provides another example of the powerful stepping over the electorate to achieve self-serving ends. Americans value aggression and competitiveness, but they do not fully appreciate the consequences.

One thing we can do to defend against the continued dominance of aggression and brute force in our society is to support the improvement of education and promote the learning of compassion. We are now reaping the fruits of our spiritual superficiality and our negligence of education. The exercise of knowledge and compassion helps us to know what to do to better our world, and to want to do it.

Another thing we can do is visualize a better world, and work toward it. We can easily include such a visualization during our meditation. We should do all in our power to achieve this end, including taking social and political action. If we do not aim for higher things, we shall never achieve them.

 

Copyright © 2015 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.

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