Fight the Issues, Not the Man!

Remember what Robert Sapolsky said about zebras?  No?  Here, get the book: (

In my 20 years of teaching yoga and meditation I cannot remember a time when every class began with a political discussion.  I actually just ordered a whole batch of US Constitution Pocket Guides to give out on Valentine's Day.  If our rights are gonna be taken away, we better know what they are!

As the USA goes (potentially) to hell in a hand basket, here's a thing to remember.  The world will swirl along much as it always has and we will pay careful attention (I know, I know, I always say that) without letting the external wobbliness compromise our internal stability.  Mine own entirely beloved students!  You have worked so hard to cultivate this inner stability and strength.  Are you really going to let it be taken away?  For heaven's sake, I hope not.

Pay attention.  If we can stay calm, kind and focused, we'll have a better chance at seeing clearly despite the chaos, so that we can know which direction to go and how to take appropriate action without compromising our inner calm. 

My mantra of late has been "fight the issues, not the man."  If we focus our energy on hating a specific person, it can consume us.  It can cause us to turn away from love, block our ability to hear correctly, and prevent us from allowing people to change.  Fight the issues with everything you've got, but let the man go.  Obsessing over a person tends to have negative personal consequences.  The person you are hating is unaffected by your venom.  The person you are hating is very possibly damaged, and this may make them hard to understand, but it also makes them human.  Damaged, but human, and we, as fellow human beings, cannot give up on each other, ever.  Ever.  We are all 100% human, if nothing else.  But some of us humans do merit more careful monitoring than others...

I am so not a goody-two shoes, and lordy knows I'm no Pollyanna (ask my kids why they call me The Cursing Mommy). But I do know that if, in the next few years, we fail to see clearly or act appropriately, or continue to have hate-fueled obsessions, we will be a nation of heavily medicated people with ulcers.  And we simply aren't useful if we are exhausted or sick.

Give yourself a break and think like a zebra once in awhile.  Oh, what's that you say?  You don't know what that means?  See the first line of this missive!

jennifer durand