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We three – one voted for Hillary, one for Trump, and one for neither – hiked together all day getting a clearer perspective on the results.

 

We hiked six-hours over twelve miles in the Pecos Wilderness where we had long discussions about the election.

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It was amazing how the wilderness helped us get beyond our feelings for the election and find that commonality that bonds us together.

 

We got guidance from brother trees, sister stream, father sky and mother earth in opening our minds.

 

We did not hold ideas in mind of how we were going to rebut the other’s views while “listening” to them.

 

We didn’t just tolerate each other’s views, but gave our love to each other.

 

Each listened thoughtfully to the others — and tried to understand what they were saying.  No bullshit.  We were honest troopers.

 

I won’t try to describe our differing views, for they were not so important as our relationship with each other.

 

We had to turn our will over to the care of God – in our own way — winner or loser — and accept that the outcome was beyond our personal hopes.

 

This was not easy.

It might seem as though it would be easiest for the “winner,” since the results agreed with his desire.

 

However, he too, had to honestly give up his glee in order to empathize with the others.

 

It was essential — if we were to truly understand each other’s views.

 

We intuitively melded with trees, cliffs, river and peaks. Their hundreds and thousands of years stretched well beyond our petty few days upon this earth.

 

By comparison, the election was a bit less important than a wart on a flea’s ass.

 

We each know that spiritual awareness does not arise from books, lectures or classes.

 

It comes only through personal effort.

 

Foremost, we knew we must do our utmost to reduce our ego.

 

That’s difficult, even for the saintly.

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One big hurdle —

the sticky wicket of expecting our election desires to bear fruit, because we knew we were right.

 

We had to accept that each one of us also believed he was correct in his expectations of the election because he believed he had such good, sound reasons.

 

Not easy to give up such attachments.

 

But essential, if we were to really listen and hear each other’s views that did not agree with ours.

 

A very wise woman, Simone Weil, once said, “Listening is loving. Just listening to someone is the way to love that person.”

 

We pray daily asking God to help us practice this in all our affairs –

 

“Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted— to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved.”

 

Fortunately, we

2 Responses

  1. Heidi
    | Reply

    Bill, this is a beautiful post…. so needed for so many… In Santa Fe, we are looking for ways to have people come together and listen to one another…. It’s not complete if we are not all able to hear and be heard. Sending love to you and yours! H

    • BackpackerBill
      | Reply

      Thanks. We three truly are the best of friends — irregardless! (to quote the old NYC mayor)

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