Nov 11, 2016 “Nothing gets lost”- We pick ourselves up and keep fighting
Michael Jordan’s famous Nike commercial reminds people going to battle — whether on or in the court — the necessity of maximizing the chances of winning, and of finding a way to become stronger even from defeats. Being mortal, even apparent superhumans cannot guarantee a perfect win-loss record in court.
My head tells me to move on from the nightmare of Trump’s electoral college win (Clinton won the popular vote), particularly seeing that I stayed mostly on the sidelines during the campaign spouting against Trump more than Clinton, and doing nothing for Sanders other than donating $100.
My heart yells at me to wake up from this nightmare, an infinitely worse nightmare than Reagan’s occupying the White House for eight long years. With the Supreme Court, Reagan filled three vacancies — with Justices O’Connor, Scalia, and Kennedy (after failing to seat Bork) — and O’Connor and Kennedy were far less dangerous than the likely nominees Trump will cook up, with a compliant Republican Senate. Trump also will fill scores more of lower federal court vacancies during his four years in the presidential palace.
Fortunately, I have many years of dealing with such loss. Those who do not want to lose do not want to be criminal defense lawyers, unless they are the fictitious Matlock or Perry Mason, who always won, because their clients never committed the alleged crimes in the first place, because that is television for you.
I have known for years the necessity of non-duality/non-attachment, never attaching our strength nor sense of well being to such soul-external factors as physical health, inevitable death, human rights violations, wars, bank balances, relationships, the past and future, and boredom. Easier said than done, but I keep getting back on that path.
For whatever it is worth to you, here are some things I have been doing to get beyond my feeling like a walking zombie after Trump won the electoral vote:
I went from staying awake until 1:00 a.m. awaiting the election results and waking at 5:00 a.m. to learn the nightmarish results. I had a trial and two hearings the day after the election. Then I had plenty of work and meetings at my office. I had little time to myself before late at night.
And then I did taijiquan, moving meditation. Meditation reminds me that time and space are infinite, and so am I. Meditation helps stretch the seconds into seeming minutes, part the bombarding of physical and time challenges, and disintegrate the tension of courthouse combat. Meditation starts with simply harnessing the power of our breath, which is our life force. Taijiquan helps ground and re-ground me.
– Renew faith in life and others. The late afternoon after the election I saw a two-month-old baby. So innocent and pure. He struck me all the more as an essential counterpoint to Trump’s Electoral College win. His mother perhaps was unsure why I was so taken with her baby, calling him “so precious, especially after yesterday’s election.” She asked the way out of the courthouse, and I returned to my office.
– My teacher Thubten Chodron reminds us (see more here) not to vilify those who voted for Trump, not to dehumanize so-called “uneducated white voters” who backed him, and to realize that all people suffer and are motivated to reverse and avoid that suffering. More Buddhist teachers have words of wisdom for moving forward from Trump’s electoral vote victory. My teacher Sharon Salzberg reminds us to maintain our compassion and metta/lovingkindness for ourselves and all others in even this very trying post-election time.
Fitting is to end on a martial arts tone, because the (non-violent) battle lines and plans are drawn to defang Trump while he is in office, and to replace him. When his students anxiously asked him in 1972 about where the world was heading, taijiquan master Cheng Man Ch’ing responded:
“‘What will happen to the world? I don’t know. Look at this vapor; it comes from the tea, it goes into the air, and right about here … you don’t see it anymore… Nothing gets lost.'”
Nothing gets lost. We pick ourselves up and keep on fighting.