Social tension vs personal peace

I will be glad when the elections are over. Never before have I witnessed such tension before an election. There is little discussion of issues. There is a preponderance of personal attacks upon the characters of each candidate. Neither candidate inspires people by the goodness of their moral character. I am deeply disappointed by both political parties who seem to have allowed this to happen. It is the human situation as always. All of us are flawed and limited. But when our flaws and limitations cause us only to call each other names and not strive for a goodness that will benefit the whole country, we are in serious trouble. I have seen people I have respected in their religious beliefs attack candidates in such a condemning and derogatory manner. It has been deeply disappointing.

I am challenged to realize more deeply that the social tension we have all experienced during this election year needs to be balanced in my personal life by making certain I have a sense of personal peace. Just because this election year isn't giving me any warm and fuzzy candidates that I can look up to with utmost respect and devotion, it doesn't have to render me hopeless or helpless or lacking in faith that this is a good country in which to live. Presidential candidates can often create within all of us a sense that if we don't elect them the world will fall into a dark hole. We can forget that there is a check and balance system in our country that will force any President to tone down their messages and not act out in such a way that the whole country will be damaged.

Our primary purpose is to make sure we personally have a sense of inner peace that we extend to others. My close friends seem to get this. I have many close friends we differ politically and we both aware of it. But these very close friends have a deep spirituality and realize that arguing over a candidate is not worth the emotional and spiritual energy it would take to discuss the candidates. What is most important is that we care about one another and share what is most important to each of us in our lives. What is most important are the daily events of life. Our relationship with God, family and friends is much more important than who gets elected. In fact, I hope that whatever choice for candidate anyone makes, it is based upon a positive relationship with God, family and friends. Having a positive relationship with life means that I do not condemn other people who vote differently than I do. If I don't do this then I had better examine how well I live my inner life and how well I practice a good theology and philosophy of life. This is why I like my friends. I know they will love me and respect me regardless of whom I vote for. And I will respect and love them regardless of who they vote for.

I change the world for the better by how much time I spend in quiet contemplation with a God who is always loving and kind. I change the world for the better by treating everyone with compassion and understanding. Personal peace is never destroyed by social tension. In fact, social tension becomes a stimulus to deepening my personal peace. Anything that is unpleasant is a push toward realizing that I need to deepen my own personal values. The old statement needs to be repeated: "It is never what happens to me that is the problem. It is what I do with what happens to me." Life is always about what we are doing about our own personal life. My peace and emotional and spiritual life is not dependent upon who is President. It is dependent upon my own emotional and spiritual depth and how I continue this journey.

What are you doing about your journey in life? Do you spend much quiet time with yourself? What are you doing about your relationships? Do you hang on to resentments and invest emotional energy in how other should be instead of letting go of things and investing your energy in bringing more love and compassion to everyone? Do you need to be right by condemning others who disagree with you? Can you have a let go attitude in life? Who are your friends? Are they people who are usually condemning or criticizing, or are they people who are caring and compassionate? Are you caring and compassionate or are you critical and condemning?

None of us will ever be perfect. We all have limitations and diminishments. But there are principles in life that each of us need: the willingness to discover a peaceful and loving God and the willingness to bring more love and compassion into the world. If we become this way we find inner peace. If we choose to have friends like this, we become propelled and pushed to better our own personal life. And the world becomes a peaceful planet.

Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@ and his website is

Published: Tue, Nov 01, 2016


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »