Even the staunchest supporters of President Donald Trump may need to forgive him.
Whatever side you take on the issue, few would argue against the notion that U.S. President Donald Trump is certainly stirring things up. There are even websites dedicated to “Trump News” or “Latest Trump News” as people try and keep up with his latest doings. He looks very likely to go down in history for something. Whether you believe Mr Trump (or “The Donald” as some call him) will go down in history for something good; or that he will go down in history for something bad (or even a mixture of the two) depends very much on your moral, social and political views.
Those who are on the side of Mr Trump may wonder what they would need to forgive him for. Yet, it is hardly the case that a person will agree completely with everything a particular politician says or does. – and that is even more true of the likes of Mr Trump. He is likely to do and say things which even some of his staunchest supporters will not be happy about.
What seems to be common on both sides of the For/Against Trump issue is that there is a fair bit of anger around. Many of those “for” Mr Trump are angry about they way mainstream politicians operate and want a change; many of those “against” Mr Trump are angry at how Mr Trump operates and they want a change too!
Feelings run high in this type of situation and it is all too easy for people to take sides and then get indignant, angry and judgmental about the people on the “other side” – whoever the other side happen to be. However, I think there is a deeper issue rather than just the rights and wrongs of the behaviour of a particular person – even if that person happens to be the U.S. President.
The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America has thrown up a wonderful opportunity for the global community. We can learn to get better at getting along with people who we strongly disagree with – whether the people we need to learn to get along with happen to be Trump Supporters or Trump Detractors.
What does the world need more of? How about tolerance, forgiveness and peace? You might say, “Love” and I would not disagree, but that is basically the same thing. Therefore I see My Trump as offering all of us a chance to create a more tolerant, more forgiving and more peaceful world. If you are wondering how, please read on….
Where does our true character show up? Our true character shows up on how we treat people we intensely disagree with. Anybody can be kind and decent to those we agree with and who therefore agree with us. But what happens when we deeply disagree with someone about issues which are fundamentally important to us? What about when they represent behaviour, values and ways of living so in opposition to what we care about that, we can’t stand the sight of them? We just want them to go away, but they are still here.
This is true for all of us no matter where we stand on the For/Against Trump issue. For some people President Trump and his supporters are “the enemy”; for others President Trump’s detractors are “the enemy”. In either case it is a chance to examine our true character and how we get tempted to judge, condemn and disparage other people – and even to hate and bitterly resent them.
Anyone who condemns and disparages other people, out of hatred and resentment, is operating in a negative and destructive manner. Such people often assume that they have the right to claim the moral high ground. They convince themselves they are experiencing “moral indignation” but they are fooling themselves and are really experiencing “immoral indignation”. No one can claim the moral high ground, no matter their views, if they are in a state of hatred and resentment. Hatred, resentment and bitterness are never part of the moral high ground and nobody acting out those feelings can truly claim that position. Only things like, compassion, love, tolerance and forgiveness are part of the moral high ground. Anything else is likely to be fake.
It is not a matter of pretending to agree with other people who we vehemently want to oppose, or sweeping our true feelings under the carpet. However, it is a matter of treating other people with respect no matter how different their views are to ours and no matter what tactics those people resort to.
We can still present our own views, whatever they may be. We can still take bold, decisive action against injustices that we see. However, we do not need to turn the other person into “the enemy”. We do not need to resort to hatred and resentment. Such feelings are part of the challenge to grow up and to develop our character as healthy individuals.
Forgiveness is one way to develop our character. It is not a soft option, by any means, as it involves being willing to look boldly and honestly at our own part in the situations where we might have been quick to judge and blame others.
Are you ready to learn to forgive? Try my free ebook Four Steps to Forgiveness. (I don’t even ask for you email address – it is really free).
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Four Steps to Forgiveness
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William Fergus Martin