Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't Shut Off Your Pain

Whatever you do, don't shut off your pain;
accept your pain and remain vulnerable.

However desperate you become,
accept your pain as it is,
because it is in fact trying to hand
you a priceless gift:
the chance of discovering,
through spiritual practice,
what lies behind sorrow.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: Tomorrow is election day in the United States. For many, this will be a day of immense psychic pain because it is predicted that the Republicans will take over at least the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate as well. The Tea Party has rolled in and changed the political landscape in ways unimaginable two years ago when President Barack Obama promised hope and change. Disillusioned with the results, some of the populace is voting in the other direction, just enough probably to overturn Democrat dominance. The President might remember the universal law: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The ride up to the pinnacle is exhilarating, the ride down to the depths just the opposite. The voters may be responding to that experience. It would appear the President and his party certainly are.

Today's Weather Report: Getting out to vote is quite weather dependent. Here it sunny and predicted to remain that way. Thus, there can be no excuse not to vote tomorrow. Though we take our opportunity to vote for granted, people in the Ivory Coast do not. Their first election since the civil war in 2002 was held last week. Lines started forming at 4 am because "there is a real desire for change." In that state, it has taken almost an act of God to get the elections off the ground. Actually, an act of God, $400 million, and 9,000 UN peacekeepers. Before the elections could take place, who could vote was one of the major questions. That is where the money came in--over the last 5 years, voter registration took place in a nation divided over immigration status and regionalism. What's more, all parties had to agree on the final list of voters. Only when the neighboring Burkina Faso figured it out in 2007, was the impasse broken. One voter proclaimed on election day: "We waited a long time for this election. There will be change." Only if all sides agree on the election results, however. If not, the sides will begin fighting over the spoils once again. In anticipation of a rocky post-election period, many citizens are stocking up on supplies. Given this scenario in the Ivory Coast and many other developing nations, our political problems pale in comparison.