Political Apathy

Political Apathy

This week’s blog post focuses on political apathy, and why being uninvolved is not an option.

“You can’t ignore politics, no matter how much you’d like to.”  ~Molly Ivins

I received an email the other day. It read: “I really wish you would stay out of American politics Ainslie!!!”

I have no plans to stay out of politics. Spirituality and politics are inseparable, and I believe it’s incumbent upon old souls to be involved, and not allow younger, less experienced souls to run the country and its institutions.

This month in my SoulWorld® Community membership program, we’re exploring politics. And how the soul’s journey, which takes it from a place of fear to one of love, shapes our social and political views.

I’m a political animal. I take an interest in politics because I see it as an opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. It’s in my life plan, the blueprint my soul created for this life.

I’m also a spiritually focused old soul, acting as an ambassador for the values expressed by my Spirit Guides (the kind of thing I’ve shared in both of my books).

I’m here in this lifetime to contribute in my own small way to the betterment of society. I want to reach the end of this life and look back on it with a sense of accomplishment—that I left the world a little better for having been here.

In the US, the political system is flawed and corrupt. The machines that count the vote can be opened with the key from a hotel mini bar and hacked within minutes. And the corporate influence over most candidates should require them to wear logos on their suits.

Faced with a system that causes them to feel powerless, almost half the population struggles with political apathy, and doesn’t even bother to vote. And who can blame them. As a friend of mine says, “It only encourages them.”

A lot of old souls have another reason for not voting. As a spiritual person, they feel politics is not something that interests them. Yet spirituality and politics are inseparable.

Sure, you can climb a mountain and spend your life in meditation, blissfully separating yourself from the rest of humanity. It’s your choice. But is that really spiritual?

Quick—name three great spiritual leaders! How’s about Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus? What do these three individuals have in common? I’ll give you a clue—it’s not political apathy.

Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus were all deeply spiritual beings. And they were major forces for social change. How different would our world be if these old souls had shrugged their shoulders in the face of injustice and said, “I’m not really interested in politics”?

Right now in America, Donald Trump, is galvanizing disaffected younger souls with a message of racism, division, and hatred. His rallies are regularly marred by outbreaks of violence from his supporters, who feel empowered by Trump’s encouragement to “Knock the crap out of them.” Sadly, many older, more spiritual souls look at this ugly behavior and feel helpless and overwhelmed.

I think of the current political situation in the US as a runaway train. We can sit back pretending nothing is happening, and justify our inaction by claiming that we’re helpless. We can look out the window with disinterest. But when the train jumps the rails, we’re going to suffer along with everyone else.

If we take initiative, however, and join with others to pull the brake and slow down the train, then it will benefit everyone.

Whether we choose to be a part of the political process or not is entirely up to us. We all have free will. It’s a question of choice.

But it’s important to be aware, when making our choice, that we’re all on this train whether we like it or not.

Practical spirituality is all about improving the lot of others. Can you be a truly spiritual person without applying your spiritual awareness in some way? I don’t believe you can.

You don’t (as my Spirit Guides frequently remind my clients) have to be Mother Teresa to make a difference. But there is a spiritual imperative to help create a better world. It may be something monumental like saving orphans in Uganda, or it may be as simple as standing up against a small injustice at work.

As an old soul, it’s incumbent upon you to act from a place of love as much and as often as you possibly can. Ignoring what’s happening in the outside world, while an understandable coping mechanism, is political apathy, with fear at the root. Being informed, and helping to make this world a better place is acting from a place of love. And when you take action, it creates a sense of empowerment. It is, of course, your choice.

My choice is this: I will stand up for what’s right, and add my voice and my vote (however cynical I may be about whether or not it gets counted) to support political and social change, in the hope that it will help create a better world for my fellow souls.

I will speak my truth as I see it, and I will not sit idly by while the sociopathic, damaged soul Donald Trump and his cohorts bring Fascism to the US. (And yes, I used the “F” word.)

Your soul came here to walk the path of love. I encourage you to be involved, to join me in standing up for higher values like peace, freedom, and love, and bring your efforts to create a ripple effect for good.

We live in an imperfect system but, as my Spirit Guides say, “It’s not meant to be this way. It wasn’t always this way. And it won’t always be this way.

 

Keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce.”  ~Molly Ivins

52 replies
  1. Brett
    Brett says:

    Dear Ainslie,

    Just reading that you were exhorted to stay out of American politics struck me as the height of irony: What happens in America, for better or for worse, affects the entire planet.

    People who seek to squelch differing opinions are invariably uncertain of their own ‘power’.

    Not only are your comments civilized but food for thought at a critical time in history. Please do keep writing.

    Pax et lux,

    Brett

    Reply
  2. Catherine Louise Birmingham
    Catherine Louise Birmingham says:

    Beautiful Ainslie 🙂 I have even noticed simply mentioning the name Bernie Sanders on LinkedIn posts that are expressing the hopelessness of politics in America, many people respond in support of him. I don’t live there and can’t make a vote but to me even ‘energy goes where attention flows’ is always a big help with the power of social media at hand.

    As for Australia, well as my mother would say ‘they’re a bunch of idiots’ hehehe both parties never seem to get an old Soul in there somehow 😉

    Always sending you all my love xoxox

    Reply
  3. Carole Farrar
    Carole Farrar says:

    Good for you Ainslie! I’ve insisted on supporting Brenie Sanders despite all voices saying he could never win. It’s important to let it be known that old soul values are supported.. It is also disappointing to realize that a Trump or Cruz are favored by so many. It’s good to hear the guides saying it won’t always be this way. Thank you for weighing in !

    Reply
  4. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Ainslie–your past few political posts have inspired me to speak up and connect in with something that is deeply important to my soul. My soul is deeply committed to the idea that it’s time for a woman to be president and I’m finding myself suddenly speaking up for this despite most of my friends and family wanting another candidate and being surprised by my choice. As I began to speak up on social media I’ve noticed several of my friends (mainly women) who I consider old souls are now starting to speak up too. Even my four year old daughter is making me think deeply about why this is so important to me when she asked me why a woman has never been president. I could only answer her close to what you wrote above. Our system is not fair and it’s not perfect but we’re always working to make it better. Whatever the election yields there’s some important work for all of us to do to help us move to a place where love wins. Please keep up with the political posts–I find them tremendously insightful!

    Reply
  5. Ace
    Ace says:

    Nice article. I admit I have never particiapted in voting because of my disgust with the US political system. But the current situation has me questioning this view, your article helped. You have talked about the soul of Mr. Trump. Would share about the candidates?

    Reply
  6. Kate Arthur
    Kate Arthur says:

    Ainslie, you never fail to inspire and teach! Thank you.

    In at LEAST one past life, I have been a warrior. I feel him stir even now when I am confronted with injustice. I lay down my sword and use instead my voice and my experience to fight. I also feel a deep kinship (perhaps another past life still unexplored) with the German people prior to WWII, who were singled out or eliminated for speaking out against Hitler’s party of “Brownshirts.”

    “In the 1920’s a militia known as The Sturmabteilung, commonly called the SA or Brownshirts, was formed to provide “protection” for Nazi rallies. Their primary function was at first to keep protesters from disrupting Nazi political rallies, but the SA quickly expanded to intimidation through violence. The SA was composed of racists and anti-semites, thugs and brawlers, and nationalist fanatics determined to “take back” Germany for Germans and restore their country to its supposed former greatness. Elements of the SA disrupted the rallies and meetings of opposing political parties and predictably began a campaign of intimidation against elements of German society they deemed undesirable, such as immigrants, foreigners, gypsies, liberals, Leftists, unions, and in particular Jews. At first, they were unarmed, but very quickly the SA became the paramilitary branch of the Nazi party and their tactics evolved into open armed violence. In large part, Adolf Hitler was carried to power on the shoulders of the SA. Ultimately the SA gave birth to the Schutzstaffel, the infamous SS, which at Hitler’s order turned on the SA and in a riot of murder known as The Night of the Long Knives purged it of any elements not fanatically loyal to the Reich.

    Jump forward a century and remember the adage regarding those who forget history:

    For the last 80 years, people have looked at the Nazis and Adolf Hitler and the atrocities committed by that horrifying regime, they’ve boggled at how a democratic civilized country could devolve into murder and genocide and madness, and asked over and over “how could something like that happen?” When it was over, when the Third Reich was finally defeated at the cost of millions of lives and devastation on a scale that defies comprehension, even the Germans themselves had no answer. If you look at the films and interviews from that time, ordinary Germans are stunned, shocked, ashamed, repulsed, and sickened by what they had wrought. Many still are to this very day. And we still ask, how could this happen?

    How?

    Inch by inch. Piece by piece. Goon by goon. Thug by thug. Speech by speech. Rally by rally. Fear by fear. Hate by hate. Until one day, Germany woke up to find their country had been stolen by madmen who promised to make them great again in a thousand years of glory – but instead led them to ruin and disaster in an orgy of blood.”

    Sound familiar?

    Now I see this all happening again, here in a country that I would have never believed would fall for it. If I did live in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s, then it is more important than ever that the lessons were not lost. As much as I don’t relish spending the rest of my days involved in this struggle, I will stand and be counted among those who remember and will not let this kind of global disaster happen again.

    Thank you for reminding me of who I am.

    Reply
    • Diane
      Diane says:

      Inch by inch. Piece by piece. Goon by goon. Thug by thug. Speech by speech. Rally by rally. Fear by fear. Hate by hate. Until one day, Germany woke up to find their country had been stolen by madmen who promised to make them great again in a thousand years of glory – but instead led them to ruin and disaster in an orgy of blood.”

      Thank you for this reminder. It is so important.

      Reply
  7. Viviana Rodriguez
    Viviana Rodriguez says:

    These political blogs have empowered me to speak up without regret when I see injustices. I’d always had what people called a “big mouth”, always sticking up for people who were being bullied (often in the workplace). And I was made to feel bad about it by others who were afraid of speaking up. But you’ve made me realize, as an older soul, it’s literally my job to do so. Thanks, Ainslie!

    Reply
  8. Josee Posen
    Josee Posen says:

    Right on, Ainslie! And as a non American, I urge all your community members to engage in the political process somehow–your system may be corrupt, but it’s still probably far less corrupt than a lot of other systems, and you who have the right to vote can correct it. America is still a beacon to the rest of the world….please don’t let your system be hijacked by thugs and demagogues.

    Reply
  9. Katie
    Katie says:

    No one has the right to say, “stay out of American politics,” like, really??? Everyone and their brother/sister is. Remember, we’re all connected whether we wanna be or not. We don’t have a choice. I don’t understand any of it but I do know the republicans have the worst nominees in decades. Although, the dems aren’t any better. All these rich folks belong to the same country clubs and are best of friends when away from the public eyes. If HC wins she might make DT VP. Hmmm…nahhhh.
    Anyway, Ainslie, you have an opinion, a message from your guides, etc., you go have at it. I’m pretty sure you know who is going to win. Maybe, that’s why you’re more concerned than opinioned. Have a great day!

    Reply
  10. Linda
    Linda says:

    I could not agree with you more and am glad to see someone take a stand for what I think of as involvement in Life, as opposed to withdrawal . It is necessary to say and act as one believes, in accord with spiritual principles, whether events will go ‘your’ way or not. As you noted, we are all in this together and advocating for positive outcomes is taking action to support positive spiritual values in the face of what sometimes appears to be overwhelming odds.

    Reply
  11. Portia Tanaka
    Portia Tanaka says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! I have been waiting for this column for months. I was under the impression you believed old souls were “beyond politics” and was wondering why it was taking you so long to address what is happening at this critical moment in American Politics. I have had two readings with you. You told me I was a Level 10 Soul and a Spiritualist…I also cannot separate what is happening politically with what I deeply feel spiritually. They are connected for me. I have been deeply concerned about what is happening and I pray there will be an awakening among enough souls to stop this train. I cannot remember a darker turn in American Politics in my lifetime. Thank you, Ainslie. You spoke to my heart and soul with your blog today.

    Reply
    • Ainslie Macleod
      Ainslie Macleod says:

      Thank you, Portia! That connection between politics and spirituality is what should get old souls speaking out. May I recommend my second book, The Transformation. It explains a lot about politics in relations to the soul’s journey.

      Reply
  12. Katherine Ingram Flaherty
    Katherine Ingram Flaherty says:

    Excellent commentary, Ainslie. I tend to be one of those apathetic old souls, but your point is very well taken here. Trump is Hitler all over again, and we must not watch him (and his invisible puppeteers) tear down all that is good with his fear-mongering and power-grasping maneuvers. Bravo!

    Reply
  13. Olga
    Olga says:

    I agree that things need to change but at times it seems like an overwhelming uphill battle especially when so many are going through family/personal challenges at home. The government now is very corrupt. They try to sneak in their agenda in bills and the corporate lobbyists control the decisions that are made with their bribes. Then the only people who run for president are the rich who don’t really care about the rest of us, only in keeping their money and power. Lobbying should be illegal and each candidate should only be allowed a certain amount of air time so they can rise to the occasion and try to convince the rest of us why we should vote for them without all the finger pointing and completely ignoring the major issues affecting most of us today. I just think it is a tall order since most don’t know what is going on or are influenced by the media which is also not reporting all the facts or asking all the pertinent questions. 🙁

    Reply
  14. Cathy Richardi
    Cathy Richardi says:

    Bravo…and thank you. I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe we have to be involved in politics to move the world forward…and to keep bending that arc of history toward justice.

    Reply
  15. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    I do not always agree with Theodore Roosevelt’s political philosophy, however, I do recommend his speech on “The Duties of American Citizenship” given in 1883. He said, “The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community.” I have taken the liberty of attaching the link to his speech for those who may be interested in reading more about American citizenship. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/tr-citizen/

    I, for one, do not want to live in a county which is only interested in creating or managing fear in order to control others. If I do not speak up now, I may be silenced forever.

    Reply
  16. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I agree. As difficult as it can be to pay attention to, and engage, such a dysfunctional system, it is important to add our loving, compassionate voices to the mix. At a time when so many feel dis-empowered, voting and speaking up for a better world are physical world steps we can take.

    Reply
  17. Kriss
    Kriss says:

    Thank you Ainslie. It has been surprising to me how moved I am by a particular candidate. My heart is reacting and I have been participating in my own introverted way. We are experiencing a major shift astrologically, and that is playing out in the election. It is imperative that we get pointed in a good direction and start the changing process on the right foot.

    Reply
  18. Sunny Speidel
    Sunny Speidel says:

    Please don’t step away from politics and activism in this world. It is one of my favorite parts of you, and your work! Soldier on!!!

    Reply
  19. Diane
    Diane says:

    Ainslie, I respectfully disagree with the person who prefers that you do not comment on American politics. I applaud your posts regarding what is happening. During this political season there seems to be hate-filled rhetoric and actions that are very disturbing, and reminiscent of past actions of fascist dictators. I keep thinking about Edmund Burke’s famous quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I have been quite disturbed by the violence at Trump’s political rallies, and why that violence is occurring. My concern that Donald Trump is a frontrunner is magnified what I see in the people who are espousing his ideas of exclusion and racism. I am alarmed to see the fomenting of violence and the podium grandstanding remarks that only serve to divide us, not unite us. It seems that the process towards understanding each other is slow and laborious, but I don’t want to see whatever progress we have made slip backwards! I’m happy to help to join the efforts of other passengers apply that brake to the runaway train. I appreciated your post and am grateful for what you share.

    Reply
  20. Elizabeth Dickinson
    Elizabeth Dickinson says:

    I’ve been involved in politics as both a paid and unpaid community organizer/activist (energy, education, health), lobbyist and Green candidate for office. I continue to sit on the boards of several environmental non-profits doing work I support. I chose to be Green for a long time because at the spiritual level, I believe we need to move beyond dualism-beyond right/wrong, black/white towards alternatives and choices that honor the full range of human potential. However, I have crossed over into Democratic politics, working on a Democratic gubernatorial campaign and most recently attending Democratic caucuses and voting for Bernie’s vision. Ironically, I have found the most vitriolic internal politics are not always between polar opposite campaigns but between groups which are philosophical closer together. Please support Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Choice Voting wherever you can, so we can move from a dualistic two party system to one which makes third parties viable and honors true choice, and so people of good conscience can vote their conscience without fear of sending someone antithetical to their views into office. Check out: http://www.fairvote.org/rcv#rcvbenefits for more information on how RCV works. Namaste, Elizabeth

    Reply
  21. JP
    JP says:

    I enjoyed reading what you said. There’s a current movement in the spirituality world that states you should not react, not give energy to a topic, think positive thoughts etc. Well yes, being positive is important, but we can also be positive about addressing the injustices in the world as you mentioned. Through my spiritual awakening my spirit lead me to a lot of political research as part of understanding where I am. What I found was that Trump is just the tip of the iceberg. The real controllers of the world are beyond anything we could have imagined. If interested research the cobal and illuminati. Everything starts to fall into place as to why the world is the way it is. Seek to change who the real controllers are and there will be no WW3.

    Reply
  22. Diane Young
    Diane Young says:

    Ainslie,
    Thank you so much for this post. These are scary times but I am learning to have courage and speak up.

    Reply
  23. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for your insights and for not staying out of politics. There is just too much at stake for any of us to remain silent. As you step forward with so much conviction and courage, it inspires me to do the same. Bless you!

    Reply
  24. Penny Greeley
    Penny Greeley says:

    I love this!! I get so frustrated by people who threaten to move to Canada if Trump wins. Where would we be as a country if Martin Luther King Jr. and all those who supported him just pulled up stakes and moved to Canada?? I find the sentiment embarrassing. I understand that people feel overwhelmed and afraid, but imagine how those marchers felt in Selma facing a wall of police waiting for them? Or the parents of black youth killed by police officers in their own neighborhoods? If anyone had a right to flee it’s them- but did/do they?
    Everyone fights in their own way, I respect that, but I can’t understand walking away from the fight altogether.
    Thank you Ainslie.

    Reply
  25. Margie Gillis
    Margie Gillis says:

    Thank you Ainslie. great article. Apolitical is political. Apathy is political. we need to place this small gesture forward and vote. if you have the right to vote use it. this duo citizen is grateful to have the right to vote!
    thank you

    Reply
  26. Kara Duepre
    Kara Duepre says:

    I’m on page 101 of your book, “The Instruction” and I was surprised to read that “Mother Theresa is a level 10 Hunter type.” I recently listened to your podcast with Oprah and one of your point you made about levels not being “better” as they increase was your example of Mother Theresa being a level 3. Can you please explain this discrepency? Thank you

    Reply
    • Christine Love
      Christine Love says:

      That was a typo in the first edition of Ainslie’s book, which was updated in future editions. Mother Theresa was a level 3.

      Reply

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