If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.
— African proverb
Donald Trump has just become president of the United States. Today, the 9th of November, 2000 and 16. As this is being written. A disaster of epic proportions to some. A catastrophe. Or the world at war. And, clearly, a triumph of fear over love, of misogyny over feminism, of foolishness over commonsense.
(Listen to you, the clever and wise one, oh listen to you!)
Truth is, Donald Trump is just a messenger, in a long line of messengers, so don’t shoot the messenger. Hear what he has to say. About you, and about others too.
You voted for Donald Trump, after all, yes you did. You and all those that did not listen.
So, please. Don’t shoot, don’t shoot! Listen.
Listen to the fear in you, listen to the shame; and listen to your anger, your revulsion and disbelief.
Listen to understand and to learn and to improve. Don’t listen to make wrong. Don’t listen to chastise. Don’t listen to lambast. Don’t shoot the messenger, no matter how unappetising his words, listen.
Don’t fight fear with fear.
Listen to how you know what’s best. Listen to how you know what’s going to happen now. Listen to the panic in your voice (you panic about the panic about the panic…)
Listen. Don’t panic. And remember Gandhi (and be the change). Remember love. Remember wisdom. Remember yourself.
And listen to what happens when you don’t listen. Listen to how bad it has to get for someone to think that Donald Trump is the best choice to be president. Listen to what happens when you keep shooting the messenger.
The UK voted to leave the EU the exact same way. A Brexit borne of not listening. Of shushing (and hushing) the disquiet. A racist labelling not a reasoned listening. A shooting of the messenger.
Shooting. So much easier (and convenient) than listening. After all.
But messengers are everywhere. Not just globally, coming as terrorists and activists and anarchists, but personally too. Reminding you of what you don’t want to be reminded of. Like your anger. And your fear. And your hopelessness.
You blame others for your bitterness. You screech at life for its hardness. You snarl at your snarliness.
You shoot the messenger for the feelings you don’t want to feel.
You shoot the messenger to resist looking like the fool.
You shoot the messenger to avoid the shame.
ALL that you do not want to sense or to savour – like your powerlessness, your lack of control, your lack of trust – you try to shoot away.
The humble messenger. With a message. Just for you. You shoot. You shoot, shoot, shoo away!
Away with your ugliness! Away with your flaws! And away with being wrong!
Away, away, away! Shoot, shoot, shoot!
NO, you do not want to be reminded of your smallness, and meanness and downright nastiness. So you shoot. The messenger dead. And you keep shooting and you keep killing. But the messenger still returns, still reminds, and they always will. Until. Until you start to listen, and until you start to see, and until you start to understand. The messenger is you, in cunning disguise.
You shoot the messenger and so you shoot yourself. A vital part of you that wants to be listened to. Needs to be heard. But in your loveliness, in your wiseness, and in your righteousness, you shoot!
Shoot first, listen later.
You live in a brutal world. A world where anyone that thinks different is against you. Is wrong. And needs to be metaphorically shot. Not listened to, but shot. Shot until they see sense. Until they see as you see. A world as you. Where strength is idolised, and weakness is banished. Where fear masquerades as love. And differences are not tolerated.
A tyrannical rule, where you shoot first and listen never.
A world that can never find peace. A world of shooters. A binary world of good or evil.
A world where judgements rule. And happiness decreed. And love conditional.
Donald Trump. Adolf Hitler. Margaret Thatcher, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. These are just some of the messengers you like to shoot. But messengers come to you every day. A joyful message. A hopeful message. Or a hateful, vengeful angry message.
Your world is full of messengers. Every moment a message. Every moment a chance to listen. Or a default to shoot.
It’s your message that you’re not listening to, this is about you. What lurks in the shadows. Or the light that wants to shine bright. Or a voice that just wants to be heard.
So don’t shoot the messenger, please don’t.
Don’t banish your weakness, don’t dismiss your doubt, and don’t resist your gifts either.
Remind yourself that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that you see what want to see and you hear what you want to hear.
Remind yourself that suffering is merely a messenger about what you think to be true that isn’t, is sometimes the only way for a message to be heard.
Remind yourself that the messenger is you. And when you shoot the messenger you stop listening to yourself.
Remember: a world at one with itself is a world that is listening to (and not shooting) itself; a world at one with itself is a world at peace.
That is some message to want to shoot.
As for Donald Trump, “let the baby have his bottle”.
Agree with what I’ve shared here? Disagree? Still got questions? Then please leave a comment. 🙂