Click on the above link to visit Charles’ blog for this timely post, in the light of the U.S. election about to reach its outcome. We think the point he is making is essential.
The writer is relieved not to be in the shoes of some of her American friends…. She regards with deep fear the prospect of Donald Trump as president, given what he says and his way of being. She is also unable to feel enthusiasm for the idea of Hillary Clinton in those shoes – that seems like such a perpetuation of (as Charles himself puts it) the old story, the rule of power, money, big business, an exploitative approach to each other and our planet etc etc… And then there is the question of whether to vote for one of the other options, and the hopes and risks that entails….
But like Charles, the writer has felt profound discomfort at the willingness of so many to engage in dehumanising behaviour, whether dressed in humour or vitriol. Whatever harm someone may seem to threaten, or actually have done, we all have reasons and life experiences behind our actions; we are all complex, wounded, multivalent beings, bringing our light and our shadow. Dehumanising and reductive approaches to another ultimately do harm to sender, to receiver, and to all of us. It is possible to hold boundaries, assert, say ‘no’ and limit harm, without turning the other person into a thing.
Wishing compassion for and in all of us, whatever happens in the U.S. today.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling in Exeter since 1994