Feb. 25, 2017: Take Sides, But Don't Harden

There were contentious town hall meetings across the country this week, for those legislators brave enough to offer them. 

This week I attended Chuck Grassley's town hall meeting in Garner, Iowa. Some of his responses to the questions disappointed me, and it's true that his voting record has greatly disappointed me in the last few years. Still, he deserved respect for showing up in Garner. I'm sorry that the crowd didn't always give him that.  

How do we retain our equanimity even as we work for change? Maybe these two quotes can help us find our sweet spot:   

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."  --Ellie Weisel

"To cultivate equanimity we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity." --Pema Chodron

Taking sides and working for change, but without hardening -- that's the challenge.  

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