Less 🙄, more 🔥❤️.
“We live in a society that is basically at war with itself. People speak with incredible contempt about – depending on their views – the rich, the poor, the educated, the foreign-born, the president, or the entire US government. It’s a level of contempt that is usually reserved for enemies in wartime, except that now it’s applied to our fellow citizens.”
That’s from Sebastian Junger’s book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. And it’s scary stuff. People who have contempt for each other rarely stay together.
What might we do?
One of my favorite books I’ve read in the last year is Love Your Enemies by Arthur Brooks. Brooks has been able to spend time with the Dalai Lama, whose advice for when we feel contempt is to practice warm-heartedness. Warm-heartedness is contempt’s kryptonite.
But what if we don’t feel particularly warm-hearted towards “those people”? Fake it. Brooks writes:
“If you wait to feel warm-hearted toward your ideological foes, you may as well have WAITING TO FEEL WARM-HEARTED chiseled on your tombstone. Action doesn’t follow attitude except in the rarest of circumstances. Rather, attitude follows action. Don’t feel it? Fake it. Soon enough you’ll start to feel it.”
Contempt is toxic. Everybody wins with warm-heartedness.