It doesn’t interest me what you believe in(*). I want to know how you behave when the principles you profess are deeply challenged. I want to know what gives you deeper insight into how to improve the condition of your life and the lives of all those in your care.
It doesn’t interest me who you vote for(†). I want to know how you behave toward those that would vote otherwise and if you can empathize with their rationale for doing so.
It doesn’t interest me how you “identify”(‡). I want to know if you can inhabit your “identity” in a manner that renounces the continual consolidation of personal power for the purpose of empowering as many people in your life as possible…starting with yourself.
I want to know if you can sit with the whole messy and convoluted legacy of being human without hiding behind some pat narrative that excuses “your” people of all sins.
I want to know if you can stand from the slime and muck of this dark age, rise from the depths of shame and self-loathing, and create something beautiful that can last beyond your corporeal self.
It doesn’t interest me how high you have risen in some artificial hierarchy…or who you think should be in positions of leadership. I want to know how you propagate the essence of enlightenment through the everyday networks of your experience.
The sordid details of your “lived experience” do not engage me. I want to know if you can take ownership of your experience, breath by breath, and create an experience for others that they can engage in for the rest of their lives.
I want to know if your heart is the right kind of tender. Ready to catch fire from a spark and burn brightly — resonating through your associations until it is time to say goodbye to life but not to love.
I want to know if you can stare calmly into the void, see it staring back at you, recognize yourself, and be at peace. (⸸)
(*) I can honor you in your faith without holding your belief.
(†) Vote, for God’s sake! It is the bare minimum for a functioning democracy. Shoot for more than the bare minimum.
(‡) All “identities” are deserving of the same fundamental level of respect, dignity, compassion, and curiosity…And no more.
(⸸) Yes, this is a playfully serious riff on “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer that inspired me many years ago (http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/)