It is a sad time for America. We have elected a president who is the worse of us. This is not particularly about his policies or Russia but about who he is. He does not read. He is thin-skinned. He belittles through name calling or questioning their heroism as in the case of John McCain. He lies, brags, and exaggerates about most things. He does not pay his contractors. He talks vulgar about women behind closed doors and does not have equal pay for women on his staff. He cheated on his wives. He uses money in his charities to buy huge portraits of himself. He treats the professional Secret Service Agents as his errand boys. He praises strong man dictators and lifts them up as role models. He spends his money on garrulous things; a golden toilet to name one. He never apologizes. He is way too comfortable with alt-right racists. He is not religious or knows much about religion; two Chronicles is only the tip of the iceberg. He thinks winning is everything. He considers the ones who have the most to be the best of us. He tweets without thinking. He is impulsive. And regretfully the list could go on. He is just not the best of us. He makes anything and everything about himself no matter where he is or what is happening.
George W. Bush had horrible policies but he never was eager to divide and conquer us as Trump has demonstrated. Trump seems to revel in pitting groups of people against each other. Ronald Reagan, whose policy I did not as a rule agree, was not particular religious but he did seem to have a basic human decency about him. So the question is what or who are we to be in the midst of this onslaught of the worse of us? We can cringe in embarrassment. We can demand better behavior. And these are legitimate actions to take. But I propose that our response to having a president who is the worse of us is to become the best of us.
This will be hard. The worse of ourselves desires to out trump the worse of our president. Yet in the end this will only give us a temporary feeling of relief. It will not make better homes, workplaces, and communities. But if we burrow down deep within ourselves we can find the best of ourselves waiting to come out.
The best of ourselves will speak and act strongly when the vulnerable of our society are threatened. We will no longer be able to think about doing good but our best will demand we do good. We will not spend our money on garrulous things but give away our extra money to causes and people we believe. We will not be impulsively speaking words without thinking but use talk that does not exaggerate and lie but hits the nail on the head fearlessly. We will admit when we were wrong. This will ensure that when we speak people know we try to speak truth and to be helpful. We will find role models that demonstrate the reality we wish for all to live. We practice speech and actions that does not belittle others or discriminate against them. We nurture our higher selves. If this means going to church, meditating, volunteering or whatever we make sure we have a spiritual core. We value truth and know that Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, and so forth did not have a lot but they gave the world a lot. We do not value winning over all else.
You see we can gain if we let the worse of someone else bring out the best of ourselves. And to our happy surprise we will be better for it in the end. Sometimes it takes the worse of us to realize how much we need and want the best of us.