Patriotism and Peaceful Protest

Patriotism & Peaceful Protest

“The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”

                                                                                     ~Frederick Douglass

One of the things that I love about being a certified Shadow Work® facilitator and coach is our focused efforts on exploring four archetypal energies: Sovereign, Lover, Warrior, and Magician. Each archetype has qualities associated with it, and when we access and develop the skills and tools from each archetype, we utilize highly functional skill sets for living life.

Magician energy offers us the ability to see a wide range of perspectives and to explore situations strategically from every angle. When we detach from a situation and look at it from another viewpoint, we transform our perspective. We change too.

Developing the proficiency to view different perspectives and rise above rigid viewpoints requires critical thinking, and the willingness to be wrong or at the very least to expand our own belief system. Confronting our own inflexible thinking requires courage allowing for cognitive dissonance to arise. We give up being right, temporarily suspending what we think we know, and open our minds to a new way of viewing a situation, or at the very least, adding another possible perspective to our established viewpoint.

To consider different viewpoints, without demonizing one, has diminished drastically in our world today. Most individuals see two sides: mine or yours, right or wrong, good or bad.

Here is a current example of two polarized perspectives:

Honoring the men and women who serve in our military and respecting our country means we should not take a knee during the national anthem.

Taking a knee during the national anthem as a practice of our right to peaceful protest means we do not honor the men and women serving in the military nor do we respect our country.

What if both perspectives are insufficient?

Exercising our right to engage in peaceful protest by taking a knee during the national anthem does not negate respect for our country nor our armed forces.

As a woman with friendships across diverse cultures, my friends of color who are educated, and accomplished professionals, no different than many of my Caucasian friends, have stories to tell about being mistreated with a common theme of racism running through. Institutionalized racism exists.

For me, to take a knee during the national anthem is a tribute to our right as Americans to demand from our country the best of who we are. We must continue to bring to the surface those places in our society where we can be better, and stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all our citizens.

We are fluid and growing, not stagnant. Men and women risk their lives for our country because of their belief that democracy and freedom are essential.

If I were alive at the time Dr. King marched for civil rights, I only hope that I dared to walk arm-in-arm with those peacefully protesting segregation and racism in our country.

If my father were still alive, I would thank him daily for his service in the military, as I do with friends, family members, and strangers I know and see who are serving our country. Having lived in developing countries, my gratitude and appreciation for the democracy we live in runs deep. Knowing this does not negate that implicit bias exists in our culture.

What if the symbol of kneeling during the national anthem were viewed as a tribute to our great country instead of an opportunity to make an opposing viewpoint bad and wrong?

What if peaceful protests remind us of a country that encourages the continued need for societal betterment, while simultaneously giving tribute to our freedoms while offering gratitude to our military?

What if we respected each other’s perspectives without attacking or behaving divisively, unifying our efforts to be sure all citizens are truly free?

What if?

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”  ~ Martin Luther King

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