Donald Trump’s power and wealth are so beyond comprehension, that if he never earned another dime he could still provide an incredibly privileged existence for his entire family, long into the foreseeable future. Why doesn’t he embrace policies that facilitate justice for the less privileged, compassion for others, and stop trying to punish/silence/scare his critics?
Even if only a tiny bit of what we hear of Trump’s conflicts-of-interest and intentional misrepresentation of facts is true, it’s an egregious record. He has been filmed bragging about his extramarital, aggressive, unwanted sexual advances. Yet most of his supporters appear to be people who consider themselves people of faith or with high moral standards. People unaware of or willing to overlook these things are keeping him in power. Why are they and a majority of our senators, continuing to make Trump our most visible “role model” the driver of our national conversations and the most powerful individual impacting our democracy?
In the final chapter of my book, Compassionate Souls – Raising the Next Generation to Change the World, The case is made that compassionate parenting built on a foundation of attachment, with firm, non-violent boundaries, that meets fundamental needs of our species, is key to creating a better world. That plus a just economic system (including food and healthcare) is key to preventing terrorism too: People who believe they have access to a decent life, plus a worldview that embodies the golden rule (and have good mental health -- which is facilitated by having fundamental needs in childhood optimally met) don’t engage in terrorism, bullying nor seek to enrich themselves to unfathomable levels by doing things that harm others.
It is possible to live in relative peace without real justice – just look at China. Will that be our future -- giving up important freedoms to end terrorism while becoming slaves to an economic engine that benefits only a few?
A widespread change in consciousness is the only way for there to be widespread peace AND justice, and how we raise children is critical to this. Too many of our cultural norms are contrary to the fundamental needs of our species -- like removing babies from mother at birth, forcing newborns to sleep alone or not allowing them to “nurse on request.” making babies or children cry it out alone, spanking them, discipline that is punitive, and/or fails to uphold healthy boundaries...all of these set humans up to feel, “not right” inside, and make us more vulnerable to materialism or to exploiting, bullying or harming others, in our pursuit of what we want. That plus an educational system that encourages competition and acquisition of stuff rather than valuing collective well-being, cooperation, and pursuit of knowledge, is causing extraordinary harm to everyone on the planet.
But each of us CAN be the change. We must open our eyes, be willing to change ourselves and then respectfully dialogue with those who hold different points of view. Here are Five things we can do right now, to be the change:
- 1.) Educate yourself about the myriad little consumer choices we make every single day. Some choices perpetuate exploitation and harm upon the vulnerable, and can be easily avoided. Chocolate, coconut, coffee, and bananas (to name a few) have horrific injustices, including forced slavery enabling them to be produced cheaply. Buy fair trade, and buy less in general, as much as possible.
- 2.) Learn about “Astroturfing” and how to spot it. Be skeptical of blogs and reviews which attack the character of those with dissenting views, or views contrary to corporate interests. Astroturfing is widespread and sophisticated. Educate your network too.
- 3.) Be vegan. Animal agriculture—even under the most ideal circumstances, is fundamentally unjust, by perpetuating ownership of another. No matter how well-intentioned farmers are when they begin, economic interests inevitably justify horrific injustices -- removing testicles, horns, or beaks without anesthetic, forced separation of mothers and babies a violent, premature end to life. But most problematic for humanity, is how it conditions us to “look away and ignore injustice” happening to those we have been taught to “otherize.” Please, read my article, The Most Important Action We Can Take.
- 4.) Rabidly avoid GMO food. Layers of injustice support GMO’s. To date alleged benefits of GMO food to anyone besides wealthy stakeholders have not be substantiated, and there is growing evidence that they harm the environment and most likely us too. How could something that makes it's own pesticide, not also alter our gut micriobiome? And we know the micro biome is critical to our brain and immune system!
- 5) Start lobbying your FaceBook network to plan a group defection. Ask your most important friends to simultaneously deactivate and DELETE all of your accounts, and make plans for alternative ways of staying in touch (eg. smaller social media networks that aren’t working so shamelessly to socially engineer and psychologically manipulate users and monetize their data for purposes that increase FB’s power while making it easier for those with the most money to “buy” and legitimize fake facts.)
Even if initially you are unable to persuade anyone to join you in these things, each time one of us stands firmly in solidarity with justice, non-violence and compassion, it inspires others to consider their own choice of where to stand. Without enough people doing just this, power and money will always push the culture towards injustice and inequality. So please, BE THE CHANGE! It is our only hope.