This week’s post on Satya (seen here) was really hard to write. I actually had to take a nap in the middle of writing it. Not because I was tired- but because my body put up a defense mechanism: sleepiness in the face of stress!
The fact is that I’m experiencing a problem with honesty in my life. Not that I’m a big horrible liar. But when I’ve identified a truth in my life, I feel that I need to share that, wear that, on the outside of my skin as much as I do on the inside. And when I don’t, I’m uncomfortable.
There’s something big going on that made me feel really hypocritical when writing the Satya post. It’s so big in fact, that you can’t help but hear about it, see it, be inundated with it everywhere you go.
I’m talking about the 2012 Presidential Election.
Have you seen this picture on Facebook?
This is the post that really called me out. Because I completely agree with the sentiment- and in my case, it’s cowardice.
Here’s the truth: I have a strong (Democratic) political opinion. I very much do NOT want a President Romney in the House. I have given money to the Democratic party this year and I’d give more if I could.
But I’m a chicken, because you haven’t heard me say anything about it. There are two reasons, and neither of them are good ones.
The first is that I dislike conflict, and because (I say to myself) I do not feel that I am well-enough educated in the issues and platforms of the parties to intelligently argue my side. This is nonsense. I am certainly as educated as many of the other folks out there spewing facts. I’ve just wanted to avoid the conversation- it’s much easier to be cozy and comfortable in my quiet little opinion.
The second issue is that I’ve been afraid of alienating people that I love and care for (and who, shockingly, don’t agree with my political views! What an educational month it’s been in that regard). Students. Fellow teachers. Friends. Politically (I’ve rationalized to myself), it’s best that I just remain quiet on the topic unless directly asked. In truth, again, I just don’t want to put us in that uncomfortable position.
So why get my yoga panties in a twist over the whole situation? Why does the concept of truth cause me to hide under the covers? Well, If I’m truly living yoga- which I aspire to do- then don’t I have a responsibility to shine not only my truth from the inside out, but to actively work to create (what I believe is a) better society for all of us?
I’m fortunate enough to be a member of a society that allows us to choose how the country is run. My vote is as important as any of the other choices I make- and in fact, my vote will determine whether or not I am ABLE to make any of these choices in the next four years.
So yeah, there’s been a hypocrisy to my silence up to this point- maybe I wouldn’t have been saying much of anything, but my reasons for saying nothing have not been aligned with my morals.
Please note that I am not condemning anyone else for keeping their silence, on this or any other topic. We all find ourselves at different places on our journey and the step that is right for me today may not be right for you. This post is simply about my experience.
Do yoga teachers have a responsibility to act politically? Or would you rather not know? If you like, leave a comment below- please keep it respectful- temper your Satya with Ahimsa, please!