A graduate of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, George Cassidy Payne is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International, a SUNY adjunct humanities instructor and domestic violence counselor in Rochester.
Fixated on Trump, Media Overlooks World’s Real Leaders
Mother Teresa once wrote:
The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.
As Mother Teresa knew as well as anyone, individuals in the world are combating the biggest diseases by caring for those deserted by the policies of disconnected and weak minded leaders. People are instilling hope in the masses with fearless truth. In comparison, Donald Trump’s stale menu of disrespect, favoritism, passivity, willful ignorance, exclusion, and corruption, has made all of us — whether we want to realize it or not — sick to the marrow of our bones.
Allow me to put it this way. To share this earth with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Thich Nhat Hanh, Julia Butterfly Hill, Bono, Jimmy Carter, and so many others, is a wonderful feeling. To know that somewhere, with grace and sublimity, Pope Francis is doing his thing is reassuring. Somewhere, alone or in community, Bob Dylan is constructing sound in ways we have never heard before. Somewhere, in the most dangerous places imaginable, courageous individuals are standing up to real monsters. In Afghanistan, Malala Yousafzai fights the Taliban. In India, Vadanna Shiva fights Big Agriculture. In Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi fights secret police and the threat of torture. These moral supernovas are alive at this passionate and tender moment in history.
Perhaps the great tragedy of our current moment is how much emotional and intellectual bandwidth is exhausted on an un-reflective, untrustworthy, and inconsiderate person such as President Trump, especially when the work of so many inspiring humanitarians is here to follow. In one of the most empowering forms of resistance, turn off Trump and go find a real leader. Revolutions of mindfulness are happening in every country on the planet and too many are missing out. From Rangoon to Los Angeles, revolutions of love are happening. From Calcutta to Tibet — and from the preserves of Gambia to the cities of Vietnam — revolutions of peace are happening. So go follow the Dalai Lama: be a warrior for peace and understanding. Follow Desmond Tutu: be a force of truth and reconciliation. Follow Malala: face your enemies with determination and integrity. Follow Jane Goodall: be a champion for diversity and sustainability.
Throughout the world there are so many remarkable people who should merit attention and emulation. Why does the media obsess over the actions and words of a mediocre thinker and inconsistent leader such as Donald Trump?
In addition to his contributions to Talker of the Town, George’s blogs, essays, letters to the editor, and op-eds and poems have been featured in a wide variety of foreign and domestic publications, including the USA Today, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The Buffalo News, The Toronto Star, The Albany Times Union, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, The Daily Caller, Counterpunch, and more.