Becoming More Mindful

Compassion for Donald Trump

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Make no mistake – no matter who wins the election in November, the ripples of hatred we have seen all around us will continue long after Donald Trump is gone. He is not the sole cause, but rather has aided, abetted, and amplified something already underlying and inherent in the consciousness of the American people. I, like many in this nation visit this website, have been surprised with the vitriol and divisiveness I see around me. It is as if a carpet in the corner of the room was lifted up, and we found a nest of cockroaches underneath. It was always there lurking, albeit not visible, until now. The question is what do we do about it moving forward?

We have, chiefly, two responses: to respond in kind with hatred, or to respond instead with compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. I implore you, Dear Reader, to choose the latter.

I want to ask the question: Why does a person hate another? Ultimately, it has to come from not seeing clearly, more commonly described as a state of ignorance. If I do not see the humanity in a black person, I can look down upon him as less than human. If do not see that Trump supporters are, at the end of the day, human beings, prone to mistakes like all of us, then I can label them blindly as the embodiment of a dangerous stupidity that must be extinguished.

Donald Trump and his supporters have a very black-and-white view of the world. Their view is permeated by a base tribalism – the us-versus-them mentality; Americans are good, immigrants are bad; Trump is good, Democrats are bad; in short, “we” are good, and “they” are bad. They are unable and unwilling to see clearly and by doing so, respond with hatred. It must be admitted, however, that even those who hate Donald Trump and his supporters are also falling into the exact same trap: “we” are good, “Trump supporters” are bad.

It is clear from even a rudimentary observation of Trump’s character that he exhibits several narcissistic tendencies. There is a very good possibility that he is mentally sick and yet, like so many mentally sick people, is unable to see his own sickness. This holds true for his supporters as well. A leader merely represents the consciousness of its base – if a leader lacks empathy, it is because its supporters also lack empathy as well. Check

So if we are to clearly see a person suffering from a mental illness, can we expect that person or group of persons to behave in an emotionally healthy manner? Of course not. Just as we do not expect a person with Down Syndrome to be able to do basic mathematics, because it does not have the capacity to do so, we cannot expect a mentally ill person to behave in an emotionally healthy manner. It, very simply, lacks the capacity to do so.

It is a sign of a healthy individual for a person to have empathy for others, to be able to sit in another shoe’s and feel what another feels; to be cognizant and respectful enough to choose their words and intentions wisely. How can a narcissist show empathy or respect towards another, when it chooses not to acknowledge anything but its own selfish impulses? How can a person who is empowered by its own grandiose sense of self, and see that grandiosity as a sign of weakness? It is not possible, my friends! The only response to such a person is to come back to compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. Such individuals hate because they are sick individuals who are operating from a limited understanding of the world around them.

So if you hate a person who hates you, then are you not sick also? Are you also not operating from a limited understanding of the other?

Trump and his supporters are clearly on the wrong side of humanity – it is only natural that they will vehemently deny this. That is okay. Remember the mantra repeated over and over again on this website. IT’S OKAY. Everyone makes mistakes as this group of individuals clearly are; the returning arc or understanding may be long in coming, but these same individuals will eventually learn from their mistake. You and I have made countless mistakes in our past, and we had to make them in order to learn from them. Wouldn’t we want those who we hurt in the past to forgive our shortcomings? So we too must forgive these individuals their shortcomings. And, in this wonderful way, you can be at peace with them and, very simply, let the animosity go. You will no longer demonize them as they may be demonizing you; you will not be antagonized by their efforts to antagonize you. You will refuse to engage in kind and will simply let them be. Therefore, one can say to oneself that Donald Trump and his supporters hate me, and that’s okay.

Hatred will only cause you to hold on to the hatred even further; only forgiveness will allow you to truly let go. Admittedly, this is very difficult to do for many of us. Trust me, as someone who has been on this path for a considerable time, it still happens to me from time to time. We live in a world permeated with the mechanism of constant labelling and judgment. But if you have made the mistake of hating Trump or a Trump supporter, forgive yourself for feeling this way. You too, can make mistakes and learn from them…and this is okay.