Let go of fear, risk a little trust
Be afraid! If there isn’t an enemy, make one. Don’t trust anyone but yourself.
James Hillman, in his book “Blue Fire” has a chapter on betrayal. He writes that when betrayed we are tempted to respond in ways that are dead ends. He names these choices: revenge, denial, cynicism, self-betrayal and paranoia.
After betrayals by our politicians, our business leaders and even our church leaders, we seem afraid to risk trusting.
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Revenge simply seeks justice and a balance of power. Denial opts out and says it doesn’t matter. Cynicism lumps all the “bad guys” together, points fingers, paralyzing us from taking responsibility. Self-betrayal is close behind saying, “I made a bad decision in choosing this. I can’t make good decisions.”
So I dumb down and tune out, or become a bully and out-shout everyone.
Paranoia puts up such high expectations that no one could ever meet them.
The search for a political savior is a good example. No one alone can meet all our expectations. Good communities work things out by listening with an openness for the common good.
Work for justice. Look for the good. Take personal responsibility. Let yourself be a human being who makes mistakes and learns from them.
See others the same way. Listen with an open mind. Hold your own opinion lightly. Do be attentive and involved, but let go of fear and risk a little trust.
That, in my book, would be real national recovery.
BILLIE MAZZEI, Olympia