What if I was wrong?
And what if I still am?
Actually, it really doesn’t matter; the question was prompted by the realization that my views today are totally different than they were when I graduated from college over 40 years ago. In fact, my beliefs today are different than they were even a few years ago. But one thing I know for sure – they are incomplete. They are evolving, as they have always done and always will do.
In listening to a podcast from New Dimensions Radio, guest Brooke Williams posed an idea that very much resonated with me. It is no longer, and perhaps never was, enough for people holding opposite views to meet in the middle. This will just keep us stuck in place. We must go beyond, expanding our consciousness, and reach the realization that we need to question our beliefs that are not serving everyone. This realization will allow us to evolve.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field,
I’ll meet you there.” -Rumi
I grew up in a middle-class family, privileged to attend private grammar school, high school, and college. I easily found a job, primarily due to my white male network and the connections I made playing baseball. I was raised Catholic and registered as a Republican. And now, almost 45 years later, I find myself more spiritual than religious, a registered Democrat, and a Bernie Sanders supporter. Was I right then and wrong now, or right now and wrong then? How ridiculous of a notion. It is a question that has no answer.
When I can put my ego aside and acknowledge how little I really know, I realize how presumptuous it is to believe there is any right religion, political party, or belief system, or to naively think that all we need are more people and politicians who will collaborate and compromise and that these small gestures of concession will get us anywhere. Most people who hold strong beliefs different from mine feel the same about theirs.
We need, instead, to be more open to seeing and going beyond what any individual or party imagines. To accomplish this, we must go deep inside and constantly question our world view, belief systems, and ideas for what we need to make ourselves or America great again. We need to accept that maybe what we’ve so strongly felt in the past is no longer productive. What hubris!
Instead of thinking about how we can get further ahead and restore our country to this illusory status of “great,” perhaps each of us should just focus on being good, being a little better today than we were yesterday. But being better is not measured by our bank account or our title – being better is measured by our consciousness, the increased awareness of how what we think, say, and do impacts everyone. We will all misstep and get in our own way by being overcome by ego and fear. But each moment provides us with an opportunity to choose again, to broaden our perspective, to go beyond and transform the world that we live in. Each moment, wrong or right, allows us to continue to evolve – and that is really what matters.