I realized that this story was an excellent example of how groups divide over emotionally hot issues. When we do not think through an issue before we speak, we run the risk of confusing real issues with emotionally charged opinion...and, what is worse, emotional charged opinions of others––opinions we have not rationally thought through to know if they are, in fact, what we truly believe.


I just received an email from my precious 86 year old aunt. I am amazed at her involvement in life and that she has the curiosity and interest to learn to operate computers, email and the Internet...but then, she has always been very active.

She sent me a story that she said, “brought tears to her eyes.” When I read it, I was very torn, because I was able to read it from both of our sets of values. The story was rich in emotions, opinions, patriotism and anger. The story was basically about a soldier’s wife sitting in a restaurant and noticing two different groups there. One, a group of young soldiers and two, a group of women who were verbally lumping together America, Bush’s policies and decisions, and soldiers who were defending their country and those policies.

I realized that this story was an excellent example of how groups divide over emotionally hot issues. When we do not think through an issue before we speak, we run the risk of confusing real issues with emotionally charged opinion...and, what is worse, emotional charged opinions of others––opinions we have not rationally thought through to know if they are, in fact, what we truly believe.

The women who were angry over Bush’s policies made the unforgivable leap in judgment of lumping America and those in uniform––who were operating from their own set of beliefs––with policies they didn’t agree upon. They made broad generalizations about those in the armed forces, which had little to do with the policies they were actually upset over.

When faced with an emotionally explosive idea or ideal, we have the opportunity to Step out of the Dream––out of the arena of mass consciousness, of the crowd mentality––and think...think about all facets being expressed. Our own gut response is a very big clue to what is really happening. When you hear someone discussing a subject, do you feel anger or other emotions rising up within you? Do you feel a strong need to defend your position, against all comers, without regard to what they may have to say? When you hear another speaking from an opposing position, do you only listen to enough of their talk to see how you can verbally attack what they have to say, as opposed to seeing if their words carry a new bit of information which might color your previously held opinion?

Awakening from the Sleep is what all great teachers encourage us to do. And the days we are living in, are rich in such opportunities.

When you feel emotions rising within you in response to another’s idea or remark, STOP...pay attention to your body. What just happened inside of you? Each of us have buttons that can be pushed and played as easily as dropping a quarter into a juke box. What button is being played within you? What old patterned response has just been triggered by words, a look, or an action?

And, a little side light...some people, most people, do this unconsciously...but pay attention to those who would push your buttons consciously for their own ends. It’s called manipulation, and most of the time, the crowd doesn’t even know that they have been led, much less where they are being led to. Pay attention to your bodily responses...Remember, it is your first clue to “not go there”.

Love & Blessings,
Joann Turner