Welcome to November! I don’t know about you but I am more than ready to turn the calendar to the 11th month of this year, and specifically I’m ready to check the eighth day off and be finished with the election. I am weary of the neverending political chaos. How did elections come to this? Our constitution guarantees free speech, and everyone who has an opinion is speaking freely and loudly. Social media and a 24-hour news cycle add fuel to the fire.
I personally vow to respect each of you, regardless of whom you choose to support in this election. I won’t unfriend you on Facebook because of your political views. I believe that degrades democracy and free thinking. While 9/11 brought us together as a country, it also brought fear to our front door. We have become especially fearful of those who think or look different from us, and this fear seems to have infected our political process. The late Shimon Peres said, “Human beings should be filled not with fear but with hope.”
What happens after the election is even more important. I believe if we are to survive as a nation, we must somehow, some way once again come together and work together—really work together—to respect our newly elected officials and use Ephesians 4:3 as our guide. “Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
I would like to suggest that we adopt a new practice of greeting one another as a reminder of this verse in Ephesians, and we begin today. The practice is called Namaste, pronounced “nah-mah-STAY.” It is both a Hindi and a Nepali word. It is said in India and Nepal as a salutation, just as we would say “hello” or “goodbye” in the United Sates. The word “namaste” is Sanskrit. The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit (known as Vedic Sanskrit) dates back to as early as 1500 BC.
Namaste is typically said with the hands pressed together and held near the heart. Some translations are: “I honor the place in you which is of love, truth, light, and peace” and “I honor the sacredness and equality in us all.” And my personal favorite: “The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.”