Dear Donald Trump’s America,
Co-dependence, independence, and inter-dependence. These are three concepts I’ve been playing with a lot lately.
Co-dependence is two forces trying to make each other whole. Independence is being whole by your damn self. And interdependence, the ultimate goal of the three, is lovingly linking arms and efforts with each other for the benefit of the greater whole. Interdependence requires independent individuals, who see and honor the value in community and connection.
We have a TON of co-dependence in our society, lots of independence too… but that interdependence thing, it gets lost and confused with co-dependence quite often, or forgotten entirely.
This was a big part of why I chose to leave the healthcare industry. To me, it was difficult operating within systems that only added to the oppression of struggling individuals, even under the guise of helping them. Our systems that don’t hold hope for EVERYONE to live an amazing, healthy life. They insist that we need to make due with the situation or diagnosis we’re dealt, and adjust our expectations accordingly. When we’re involved with a governmental system, it takes up all of our time, give us few meaningful answers, and makes it increasingly difficult to chase our goals – because we’re too busy chasing health, freedom, and financial stability.
The systemic approach our country has been taking, with increasing governmental/financial assistance to aid people who haven’t achieved their independence yet, HAS NOT BEEN WORKING. It’s making things worse. I understand that change takes time and money. However, I strongly believe that more time and money won’t do shit without some serious perspective changes within our systems and society as a whole. Otherwise our money will not be used in effective ways… it’ll be poured down the systemic drain.
How does society change? Society shifts naturally when it’s individuals change. Systems change naturally to reflect their society. This is why WE have more power than we give ourselves credit for, when it comes to meaningful, lasting change in our world.
Interdependence, working together as whole individuals, needs to be our ultimate goal. We can’t successfully do that until we help ALL of our moving parts stand and walk proudly, healthily, and happily on their own two feet. That means EVERYONE – people of color, women, LGBTQ… AND the rural poor, our angry confused & abused men, and other fed-up individuals who voted for Trump.
Helping people find happiness and health takes way less money than we’re already spending on it. It’s a question of cultural values, it’s a question of valuing ourselves and each other, not a question of governmental assistance or leadership.
Metaphorically, it’s patiently teaching people how to fish, rather than giving up and fishing for them to save time.
I’ve never felt so removed from my democratic/city-folk/liberal friends as I have throughout this election. Some of my fellow helpers, turned into hate-slinging shamers who AREN’T LISTENING to the other side before they immediately dismiss their opinions as hateful. (I see a LOT of this shifting now though, and I’m grateful for that).
Plus, they’re not listening because they themselves are pissed. Sometimes what they’re hearing and experiencing IS genuinely hateful. Often they’ve personally been oppressed as women, people of color, LGBTQ, or whatever other lovely and unique groups they belong to. They want to be treated equally and fairly by their fellow Americans. They want respect for being exactly who they are. They’re sick of fitting in a box, they don’t want to do it anymore. And they shouldn’t have to. They DON’T have to.
So… desperate times call for desperate measures, right? In come the protests. But what about using the power of extreme love, peace, and understanding? Like MLK or Ghandi or Mother Teresa talked about?
That’s not quite as easy, and it seems like we’re having a harder time accessing the power of love than we ever have before.
On the other side of the coin… I have friends that do NOT understand the severity of systemic racism in our culture, who don’t understand the severity of the rape culture we’re living in. Maybe they don’t understand it because they haven’t experienced it, or they’ve suppressed it, or no-one taught them the importance of changing these things in a way that resonated with them. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t make them stupid, it makes them HUMAN. At most, it makes them ignorant – in the sense that they simply don’t know yet. They’re not lying about feeling oppressed, feeling the need for governmental change to address that oppression. They deserve our respect too.
They’re the ones who can help us protect against our own homeland, racist terrorists and extremists. If only we can become friends instead of enemies.
But how will they ever understand the true disadvantages of systemic racism and sexism if we don’t teach them about it effectively? How will we ever teach anyone ANYTHING effectively if we don’t calm the fuck down and stop hating people who don’t understand yet?
How will we ever learn about each others’ struggles if we don’t listen?
How can we come together for genuine interdependence when we’re busy dismissing each other to prove our point?
Only when we give ourselves full respect, AND we respect all others – even when our opinions differ – will we inspire our white/angry/privileged men and their associates to be lovingly interdependent with us. (I bet it wouldn’t even take them that long).
So… If you still think Hillary Clinton was our nation’s only option for a hopeful future, please look harder.
Opportunities are all around you – to help, to learn, to grow, to love, to succeed. To stand in if you see something wrong happening. To thrive above all else, and help others thrive.
We need to start holding ourselves as individuals to higher standards, so we can hold the people around us to higher standards. Only then will we be capable of building the independence we need to achieve the interdependence we’re craving.
Let’s focus on helping the oppressed stand up, rise, find health and happiness, walk proudly, and shout from mountaintops. Let’s focus on loving each other back to health. Loving our nation back to health.
Let’s come together and move our great nation FORWARD, rather than holding tightly to our judgments of others and shaming people who think differently than we do.
Let’s stop judging and shaming ourselves and our country for the parts we’d rather not recognize, so we can actually start to DO something about it.
The way we’ll grow together is by loving ourselves, loving each other, and listening to each other. By trying hard to understand our opposition, so we can collaborate to find good solutions. By trying to understand the distasteful realities that we’re facing as a society, and by accepting that we ALL play a part in it.
We all need to take responsibility.
And one last thing… Donald Trump, if this ever reaches you… Thanks for reading. I was your opposition. I didn’t vote for you, and honestly I didn’t want you to be my president. However – if you’re serious about wanting our support to “Make America Great Again”, I have lots of ideas. I’m passionate about mental health, and I think bringing emotional consistency, feminine values, and communication skills to the masses would make a world of difference in our country’s biggest issues. (Gun violence, mental health, healthcare, substance abuse epidemics, racism, sexism, poverty, hate/anger/bullying, just to name a few…)
Regardless, I’ll keep working to make our world a place of acceptance and interdependence rather than a place of fear, hate, and systemic oppression.
Thank you for reading this, for hearing me out on this one. Sending lots of love and success to everyone, especially if you’re still hurting today. I’m here and happy to help if you need me.
PS… could all the brilliant political minds who are busy getting marijuana legalized pop your head up and spread the love around a bit? Much appreciated.