Friday, November 2, 2012

apathy: the most un-yogic trait you can possess

Friday is usually my morning to sleep in late, take a nice long run, go to the dog park, and hang out. But this morning my alarm went off early and I jumped out of bed, put on real pants (ones not made out of spandex) and went to city hall to vote! This was my very first presidential election voting in person and after waiting for an hour and a half in line at 7am, I finally got to vote. And it was awesome.
waiting an hour and a half was not so awesome, but this view while waiting was
I headed to the dog park, still wearing my "I voted" sticker, smiling my "I just acted as a concerned citizen smile." Where someone remarked that he wasn't voting because "it doesn't matter" and "[I'm] retarded if [I] think [my] vote counts"  My head spun around and flew off of my body. Literally. A good Samaritan had to go retrieve it. Don't worry I've put some arnica and tea tree oil on it, its fine.

So, beyond the fact that its 2012 and this man used the word retarded, which is completely and utterly unacceptable, this man doesn't believe in voting. It is taking all of my effort to not go into a rant about how incredibly blessed we all are to have the right to vote, which remember is not a right in many places. Until recently women and people of color couldn't vote. But, I won't go there right now.

Let's talk about voting from a perspective of just being a person who is alive in the world. Forget about your political affiliations, the issues that press your buttons, just think about being a citizen who walks around in the world every day. You have to care about what is happening around you. You breathe air, you drive on roads, you see people jobless and homeless on the street, a crazy hurricane just hit New York. How can you not care?

Maybe this is a result of having the mother that I do. A mother that made it clear that the problems of the community were my personal problems. A mother that made it clear that it was my responsibility, as a person who was educated and lucky enough to have rights and privileges that other do not enjoy, to make sure the world was a fair place.

What's my point here you might ask, and how does it relate to yoga? OK I'm getting there, hang on.

Apathy. That is my point. Not only is apathy just about the most unsexy quality a person can possess, it is also makes you a terrible citizen and person. Yea, that was kinda harsh, but I also think its very true.  I don't know when people thought this became cool, but evidently there are people that think not caring is cool. It isn't.  It is extraordinarily lame. As lame as using the word retarded as a slur.

In yoga we dedicate our practices to bigger ideas and things that need our energy, we as teachers dedicate our time through karma yoga, we as yogis go to charity class after charity class donating our time and money, we care. So I recognize that I'm preaching to the choir, but you the choir are out in the world with these apathetic people, they roam amongst us, dressed like regular citizens.

If you are apathetic to the world around you, you are barely a part of the world around you. We say it in yoga about the breath, if you aren't connecting with your breath you haven't even walked into the studio yet. So I'm saying this, if you don't care about what is happening to the other humans roaming the earth with you, you haven't even walked into the world yet.

Yoga is all about caring for the rest of the world around us. Sure we care for our own bodies and minds, but we also care so deeply for our fellow humans.  It's the whole meaning of namaste, we look into the eyes of any other person and see the higher power within them.  We can't just say namaste at the end of class, we have to live namaste. If you look someone in the eye and say "I see the higher power in you and I love you for it," you must care for that person.


ps- A special happy birthday to one of my most loyal readers, my sister-in-law Jill, who has always taught her kids to care about the world around them and stand up for what they believe in.  Jill gave me my very first yoga job and I did my first teacher training in her studio! I love you!

1 comment:

  1. Inspiring and wonderful as always, and I loved the shout out to arnica and tea tree--fixers of all problems. xoxo Molly