(Aug. 10, 2019)
Face to face. That’s the way to conduct business, make policy, and create relationships. That’s the way to explore how you feel about another and how another explores you. Eye to eye. Understanding. Empathy. Reaction. Interaction. Action.
Some educators know this. When faced with problematic students, teachers want some resolution. What motivates any teacher depends on which operating system is being used: Ego or Heart.
When a teacher confronts one of these “troublemakers”, the teacher may stand in the hallway alone with the student and ask, “What is going on?” That previously arguing, cursing, talkative, apathetic, or unbending kid looks the teacher in the eye; tears roll down her cheeks, and she says, “I’m only seventeen and my twenty-year old brother lives with me but won’t work. I work forty hours a week, but I have to get my car fixed. My parents can’t afford to come here.”
This scenario is based on a student I had. She turned out to be really amazing, but she originally didn’t project that. Looking into my student’s face, I saw determination to succeed and be great. Had I just looked at school policy, I could have used discipline and removed the student from my class.
Ego could have done that without guilt. Heart rarely would.
Politicians know face-to-face encounters work. Presidents do this every year at the State of the Union address when they have select civilians who stand up to adoring applause. Of course, those who disagree with the president have their own faces sitting next to them, ones they want to use to present their take on some issue.
Why are face-to-face encounters effective? We are human beings, and we come equipped with two operating systems: Ego and Heart. We choose — either by default or deliberation — to use one or the other. Both are necessary, and each has its purpose. When we look into another’s face, into their eyes, we are forced, for as long as we allow it, to act, react, and interact beyond the Ego self. We sense another with Heart.
That brings me to consider the the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. For those who seem bent on insisting that everyone has a right to military grade weapons and war-time ammunition capacity, I would ask you to look into the faces of those families who lost loved ones. I mean really look. Imagine telling them you have a legal right to have those weapons, and if someone like you had been there, you would have stopped the ego-fueled shooters. But you weren’t there, and you didn’t.
In fact, if those sorts of weapons were not for sale or the ammunition capacities were not legal, then those wicked people would not have been able to wreak such havoc. Can other ways be found to kill? Yes, but we should do what we can to stop what we can.
The second amendment argument? I have a friend from childhood who spent a career in the military. He disarmed nuclear weapons around the world. He makes a great point. Should we have access to nukes because they are fun, because they are arms? What about howitzers? RPG’s? Where’s the line?
Some say they have to have safeguards against an overreaching, possible military takeover of this country by our own government. Really? If our military decided to stage a coup on behalf of a stupid, rogue president, and an infantile, dictatorial-minded one, do you think you could really fight them with their technology and weaponry, with their air capabilities and missile targeting expertise? No, we could not.
Therefore, those who oppose full background checks, registration of all weapons sold, completely closing the gun show loopholes, a ban on all military quality and grade assault weapons, and at least a ten day waiting period until all the precautions have been carried out to produce proper licensing — those who oppose all of these only have the Ego excuse that they like guns and want what they want, when they want it, and everyone else be damned because, well, the Second Amendment. None of those things I and many others desire in any way abrogates the constitution. They are decisions about how it is administered.
Again, I would challenge such thinkers to stand face to face and tell those bereaved family members that you want your guns because you have a right. How does having fun stack up when you look into the eyes of people whose loved ones would very likely not be dead had common sense legislation that “promotes the general welfare” been in place?
Really, don’t think about your argument against me. Or what you would say to your buddies. Or what you would write in a social media post. Or what you would tell legislators. Think what you would say looking into the eyes that have tears streaming, in a head attached to shoulders that are retching held up by knees that are trembling. Your fun and misguided, egoic rights don’t seem to be rooted in the general welfare or in Heart energy. Ego — that’s the issue here.
Some have said the bigger picture is the need for improved identification and treatment of mental illness. Or that video games are the cause. Research says those things are not the bigger picture. Eliminating access to weapons of war would help. But that’s not the bigger picture, either.
The bigger picture gets down to individuals. We choose either the Ego operating system or the Heart operating system. That’s the root. Because neither anyone individually nor society in general chooses to always employ Heart, we need government for those “general welfare” principles to protect society, in general, from Ego actions, reactions, and interactions. That’s the crux of it.
Find a picture of one of the fathers, mothers, siblings, or children of one of those murdered. By yourself, in your own soul and mind, look into those eyes. What would you say — about anything? Each of us, whether we have awakened to Heart or plod along in Ego, can begin healing for ourselves, for those affected, and for our society and the world at large by formulating with words what we would say. We may never get to meet this person, but the energies emitted by our expressions are real and healing. They prompt action.
Face to face.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!