“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl
For the second time this year I’ve awoken to face the day only to find that our reality has shifted. In June it was Brexit and today it’s Donald Trump.
Now this isn’t a political site nor a political blog. But whatever your political and economic beliefs it is very hard to deny the intolerance that has underwritten both these campaigns. And it’s that intolerance that for me more than anything else is hard to swallow.
In yoga we recognise everyone and everything as possessing the same energy, the same light (if you’re more scientific perhaps reframe this as matter). And that likeness makes the idea of intolerance very alien. How, for example, can we choose to judge someone who is made of the same stuff as ourselves? How can we hate someone who fundamentally is the same as ourselves? How can we challenge their rights? How can we attack their freedoms?
Where in all of this is our humanity?
(Humanity being defined as ‘humans, collectively’ and/or ‘the quality of being humane – of benevolence’.)
Where is the collectiveness? The benevolence? Kindness? Compassion?
Patanjali’s yamas and niyamas teach us to be non-harming (ahimsa), to act from a place of truth rather than fear (sauca), to share and give back (asteya) and to dedicate our lives to living life with one eye on how it impacts the wider world and benefits the greater good (isvarapranidhana).
All I can really conclude this morning is that more than ever we have to dig deep and come together – celebrating our connectedness and finding similarity in our differences.
Find yourself a yoga class today – drop in, connect and find peace – ready to move forward again as one.