The worst thing about Trump’s odious way of being is that it’s contagious. Look what happens to Robert de Niro.
Yes, it’s very funny – “he’s a mut … this bozo” – and by the end he’s fallen as low as Trump and is talking physical assault. Any columnist or commentator has the same issue. Trump’s way of being calls forth the corresponding way of being in each of us. Like calls to like.
It’s the case with any way of being. If we’re being love, we call forth love in the other; if we’re being mean, we call forth mean in the other; if we’re being dishonest, we call forth dishonest in the other.
That’s why the issue is never with the other, it’s always with us.
Some time ago, I was part of a group engaged in a task, and a woman in the group kept switching the group’s attention away from the task to something she wanted to talk about. I knew her a little and knew she hadn’t been in good shape. We kept going round in circles, getting nowhere. I was starting to get annoyed and at one point I looked into her eyes, and it was as if I could see her little demon looking back at me.
Meanwhile, the little demon in me was getting hooked, and there came a nanosecond when I noticed my heartbeat had increased, and when I noticed it I had enough awareness left to disengage. I consciously softened my face and smiled. After that, the conversation changed. She made a few more bids for distraction, only now I wasn’t in it and soon we got back to the task; 10 minutes later we finished it.
Afterwards, I thought about the incident and what had happened. The little demon in her hooked the little demon in me. In times past, that would have been it. I would have been gone, lost in reaction. This time, I had enough training to pull away before it happened. What I also see is that I tended to myself and that that was enough; in fact, it was the best course of action. I took care of my own reaction and the situation resolved itself. I didn’t have to do anything or say anything to her.