What a week it’s been in politics! At the start of the drama I re-connected with Gamiel Yafai who was born in the Yemen and brings his passion for equality and cultural diversity into the world of business. As the debate around immigration continues to be a political hot potato, Gamiel’s calming and compassionate views are like a breath of fresh air. I hope that I am not judgemental about anyone, although I was tested a few weeks ago when I visited my local park. For the past two years the council has restored these grounds that used to be a privately owned zoo from 1934 – 1959. They have installed a brilliant adventure playground crafted from wood. Children can explore the exciting opportunities for swinging, climbing and bouncing whilst sheltered by the branches of the 600 different species of trees that grow together. Paths have been laid so that dog walkers can avoid the muddy places that used to make it difficult to enjoy the park on a wet and windy day. The ground vegetation has been cleared so that thousands of snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells have emerged to welcome visitors. Everyday the rubbish is cleared, the bins are emptied, and this beauty spot has become more radiant and serene, as its increasing number of visitors are vigilant of anything that spoils the breathtaking vistas of this 50-acre parkland.
One morning I was dismayed to see that travellers had broken into the park and several caravans and lorries had set up camp in this beautiful environment. I felt outraged to see their rubbish – such a blight on this beauty spot. As I witnessed the travellers driving on the paths meant for walking I got angrier as my internal ranting had taken the edge off of my morning walk. It was only when I was talking to Gamiel that I realised I had just experienced my own unconscious bias towards the travelling community. I know nothing about this community and my lack of knowledge around their culture caused me to judge and fear them. His patience and real openness to help me to understand, enabled me to recognise that I was still sometimes capable of judging others. This caused me to reflect more deeply on politicians and their ways of influencing the electorate.
Regardless of the party they represent, politicians employ a tactic that is essentially designed to rubbish their political opponents’ policies, express delight at the whiff of a scandal and allow their egos to banish any sense of humility. The parties do not seek collaboration they prefer to strengthen their own silos with an atmosphere of “if you are not in our gang then you are not one of us”. Political rhetoric focuses on attacking other parties’ values and passing critical judgements on the characters of those ‘villains’ who happen to be with ‘that political party and not my political party’.
Gamiel and I speculated upon the impact that humility would have on a politician’s ability to really connect with the public. Do politicians forget the essence of who they really are inside as they become brainwashed in the so-called art of spin? Who are the invisible panel of experts that decides what is the right image for the political landscape? Imagine if politicians from all parties made a promise that they would seek to understand and respect that truth that everyone has and is entitled to their own unique view of the world. The aim of all political parties is to do the best they can for the country. Do they have to persuade us to vote for them by putting others down? Why is it that only in defeat, politicians allow their humility to show? I was driving back from the gym when I heard Ed Balls speak as he had learned that he had unexpectedly lost his seat. He spoke from the heart, showing a sincere appreciation towards his triumphant conservative opponent who he said had campaigned with integrity. The impression that I used to have of him – ‘a tough old bruiser’ – melted in the face of his humility. In stark contrast to Ed Balls speech was the vicious and personal campaign that former George Galloway Respect MP ran against Naz Shah, a mental health campaigner, who early in the campaign published details of her traumatic life. He appears ruthless, hard-hearted and prepared to do anything to win.
When we ridicule, demean or judge the views, the culture, the religion or the behaviour of others, we are building silos encased by thick walls. Families and organisations recognise that people perform much better when the environment is collaborative rather than competitive. If politicians were to let go of their egos and allow others to see their humility would this help them to embrace rather that attack their political differences? Instead of the need to judge, divide and separate, what would happen if politicians genuinely wanted to understand, collaborate and work together towards a common goal?
In Quantum mechanics everything is a united field of pulsating packets of energy that flash continually into and out of being over and over again. Nothing is solid. Nothing is real. The only reality we can know is the reality we create based on the information that flows through our physical senses. Whatever we pay attention to becomes real. Therefore we continually project our perceptions out into the world. If you point a finger at someone, notice that three of your fingers are pointing back at you. If someone irritates you then it is your projection. If someone hurts you then it is your projection. You can’t change other people unless they are ready to change. The more force you use to try to change a person the better they will get at being able to resist this force. So if you want to change others you have to change yourself. If you change your thoughts, if you change your perception, if you change what you place your awareness on then you change the way you feel.
Your emotions are continually giving you feedback so if you are feeling anything that doesn’t feel good then you are out of rapport with the essence of who you really are inside, at your core. I believe that for George Galloway to be so vicious and attacking in the political arena a deep shadow side of him must be experiencing lots of internal pain. If he were to heal his own inner conflicts then instantaneous healing in his communication with others can occur. If we have the courage to take our judgements of others and reflect them internally then we gift ourselves the chance to transcend our silos. This enables us to move towards better alignment between our hearts, other people and our planet.
As I reflect on the travelling community and the lesson or the gift their presence is presenting me, I realise that I envy their freedom and their strong sense of community. These realisations trigger the awareness for some inner work. So was I surprised that resolving the inner conflict in me coincided with the travellers departing the park? Could it be that regardless of the political party in power, we each have our own power to transform our own life if we are prepared to accept that our life is just a projection of our perception? If every part of our life was harmonious, could this harmony be reflected onto the political landscape? It’s an interesting thought is it not?