A deeply radical journey down from the extremes

The most radical act we may have to offer is a deep form of transparency with ourselves and others.  Extremism only requires a capacity to acquire an ideology or a creed and the motivation suspend internal integrity to act in the extreme. A profoundly radical act demands you be true to your sense of good with an integrity true to your body as well as your mind. Upon a closer reading the world’s major religions tend to teach radical forms of love, caring, cooperation, and community.

A Catholic priest once instructed me that the word radical was related to the radish in that the root of the plant grows downward toward center rather than investing the fruit of its labor out on the far branches. Later I learned the Buddhists instruct to the middle path and meditation not as a lessons in compromise or centrist politics, but rather again, to move our attention to our own centers and down inward. The conflation of radical and extreme is a terrible error in the orientation of the human being. Bring to mind a sailboat without a keel. Such a boat is vulnerable to the wind and erratic in direction. The weight and depth of the keel allows for the stability of the vessel in turbulence. So it is with our human orientation, navigation, and steering. For this project The Good Decision requires we go down to center and center-weigh our lives with a Sense-of-Good.

In this political system and era I have this advice. Make politics a third stage conversation with people whose views you don’t know or who don’t know you. Talk to people first about the people they were directly influenced by and who for them represented good in their formative years. In the second stage converse with them about local community and the good things they are seeing going on in their direct relationships in those communities. Finally, maybe after two coffee sessions, venture carefully into the third state and share how the good of individuals and community members surfaced in the first two stages of relationship could be translated into elements of public policy in a democracy; in short politics.

As I have said in previous posts, without the insulation of relationship, and a little history, the conversations of politics of our times tend to be toxic in tone and content. You have the right to defer political conversational come-ons in relationships that are in the first stages if depth. We all probably have relationships that could be deeply supportive and nurturing but for the politics. You can save those friendship by deferring political discussion in exchange for the time needed to achieve a ‘friendship keel’. Our salvation lies as individuals, communities, and nations in these radical friendships built more on the weight and depth of relationship than the length and breadth of extreme ideology. We live in an age where extreme positions pose too often as radical positions. The radical insight being offered here for your consideration is the spectrum from right to left wings politics is useless, dangerous and unstable unless that spectrum is fed by the radical experience of being a human being. As for the purposes of The Good Decision, pause on and decide well.

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