People have asked me a few times why I bother attempting to have civil conversations with racist vermin such as Trump supporters. Why waste my time and energy when I’m never going to actually change their mind? Well, mainly it’s that I’m an asshole who loves using intellect to back them into a corner. The other thing is that…
I can plant seeds.
Fuck no, I don’t ever expect that the outcome of most of these interactions will end with anything other than them calling me a meth head or a fagot maybe threatening my life and then blocking me. This is after they realize I really don’t give a fuck and wish they’d be more creative with their insults. But in the middle of this, I can and do, plant a few seeds.
Last year while working in the Grand Tetons, we had a few kids doing missionary work and leading a church group. Good kids and I liked them a lot, seriously. I just felt that they were both brainwashed and I felt obligated to act as a counterbalance of sorts. I knew I’d never be able to get either of them to smoke a joint let alone do mushrooms, not like they were around, trust me I looked.
But I did have the power of music….
I’d wait until both of them were working and then unleash the Avalon, the Mickey Avalon. Like it or not, the motherfucker is a poet and his words are visual. I can promise you that man put some thoughts and ideas into those kids heads that fucked them up in the best way possible. It planted seeds. While I highly doubt that either of them are shooting heroine or doing porn, it had an impact, even if it was just a small one.
Dharma is truth. I am far from fucking perfect but I am, to the best of my knowledge and understanding, trying to do the right thing. I’m an asshole by nature and I try to counterbalance it with compassion and tolerance and I know I’ve got a long way to go. In the meantime, I’m going to try to have as big of an impact as possible and plant as many seeds and light as many (metaphorical) fires as possible while I’m here.
Back to the Trump thing.
It’s a test of patience and certainly takes its toll on me. At the same time, if I step back, keep my cool, I find that I have a chance to plant a few ideas that might take root and start growing over time. Just because we don’t see the impact we have on people, for better or worse, doesn’t mean we don’t have one. Really, it’s up to us to make that choice in the moment.
Nature works in a similar fashion.
You’re not going to take a sapling let alone a tree and plant it into a rock face, it’s not going to hold. But if you look on the side of a mountain you see all these beautiful trees? The strongest seeds, the true Dharma, found a crack, took root and found a way to thrive over time in a hostel environment. What I’m trying to say is be aware of the seeds you plant and the impact you have.