I respectfully disagree.

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No one should tell anyone to be silent or “shut up and dribble.”

"Civility" isn't about putting up with what others do. It's about our own code of integrity, and non-aggression. But get this: there is no excuse to let injustice pass. Civility is not about shrugging. It's about devoting one's entire life to equality, justice, kindness, service with joy and sacrifice. Needless to say, the GOP was not civil toward President Obama during his Presidency. They elected someone who openly questioned his citizenship—barely veiled racism. They attacked him and his wife at every turn. "Over 50% of all Republicans believe Obama was not born in America and therefore was an illegitimate president. Nearly 2/3 Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim. This is called racism." #redditor ?? Recently, we posted a photo of a reader with her #makelovegreatagain hat from #elephantjournal. For the first time, this gently-veiled remonstration against our President Trump drew heated criticism from liberal readers: telling us that supporting civility is bullshit, telling us to take this image down, and even “take the hat down off of your store!” ? First of all, you have a right to your opinion. ? Secondly, no. ? I am Buddhist, and we practice non-aggression. Aggression feeds aggression. We do not view love as weak, or as giving a pass to injustice. Love is active, and powerful. We are proud to support dialogue, not aggression—we must be able to disagree with respect, not just feed the Trumpian flames of rancor & invective. ? Thirdly, damn right: privilege must be acknowledged, not just sat on and selfishly used or guiltfully-worried over. It must be shared and used to be of benefit. This notion has been underlined by many, including my African-American sisters and brothers. We all have different forms of privilege, and shame will do no one any good. So use your life and energy and gifts. ? Get the hat: elephantjournal.com/hats ?? And if you don't want it, or like it, I respect your opinion. And I disagree. ? bit.ly/2IPFbBG for my video.

A post shared by Waylon Lewis (@waylonlewis) on

“Civility” isn’t about putting up with what others do.

It’s about our own code of integrity, and non-aggression.

But get this: there is no excuse to let injustice pass. Civility is not about shrugging. It’s about devoting one’s entire life to equality, justice, kindness, service with joy and sacrifice.

Needless to say, the GOP was not civil toward President Obama during his Presidency. They elected someone who openly questioned his citizenship—barely veiled racism. They attacked him and his wife at every turn.

“Over 50% of all Republicans believe Obama was not born in America and therefore was an illegitimate president. Nearly 2/3 Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim.

This is called racism.” #redditor

Recently, we posted a photo of a reader with her #makelovegreatagain hat from Elephant Journal. For the first time, this gently-veiled remonstration against our President Trump drew heated criticism from liberal readers: telling us that supporting civility is bullshit, telling us to take this image down, and even “take the hat down off of your store!”

First of all, you have a right to your opinion.

Secondly, no. I am Buddhist, and we practice non-aggression. Aggression feeds aggression. We do not view love as weak, or as giving a pass to injustice. Love is active, and powerful. We are proud to support dialogue, not aggression—we must be able to disagree with respect, not just feed the Trumpian flames of rancor & invective.

Thirdly, damn right: privilege must be acknowledged, not just sat on and selfishly used or guiltfully-worried over. It must be shared and used to be of benefit. This notion has been underlined by many, including my African-American sisters and brothers. We all have different forms of privilege, and shame will do no one any good. So use your life and energy and gifts.

Get the hat: elephantjournal.com/hats And if you don’t want it, or like it, I respect your opinion.

And, respectfully, I disagree.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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Lynelle White Jul 7, 2018 1:02am

At 2:40, he claims the civil war started because of a failure to dialogue and be diplomatic. I literally laughed out loud. The civil war was about slavery and a secession movement to keep people in chains. Period. Ya'll please stop whiting (yes, I'm using that as a verb) out here in these streets. I thought elephant journal had some decent info but when you make statements like this that show me you misunderstood basic concepts from middle school social studies... Well, then I have to turn a dubious, skeptical eye towards ALL of your content. Farewell, elephant journal. It was nice while it lasted.

Shân Williams Jul 4, 2018 7:43pm

Beautifully put. I’m not an American but this gives me insight into your ‘world’ , thank you. It is also possible to apply your words to so many global and social issues where silence and to silence is the practiced code of behaviour for privilege and power. Believe me I know this first hand. Lifting up the carpet means seeing it all, the whole picture and often it’s terribly unpalatable and hard to digest. May we reach out and hold each other’s hands in the name of love and humanity as fellow beings who are trying their very best to live a life of love and kindness and say ‘ I hear you and I see you’ Love your work, Waylon 🙏

Brenda Kerr Minno Jul 4, 2018 6:54pm

Thank you, Waylon! I love what you have said here... and the hat!

Aisling Van Dam LaBauve Jul 4, 2018 4:53pm

I agree, and I love the hat. I think it's a beautiful twist on words and is perfect.

Linda Lewis Jul 4, 2018 4:39pm

Hate speech isn't free speech. I am grateful for journalism and independent journalism esp. when it keeps us vigilant. It's the 4th estate, so valuable now when the 3 branches of government are dominated by the right wing, loaded with Republicans who tend to roll over for Trump. Trump accuses journalists of "fake news" and Kelly Ann Conway talk about "alternative facts"--basically discrediting what is being reported on. The good news is that the truth always surfaces, either immediately or eventually. Those who hide the truth must know they are doing wrong. And the deception always makes the final revelation of the wrong worse, compounding it. Americans have a President who lies every day! And he will be known forever as the lying president, just as Grant was a victorious general and an alcoholic president. It's time for truth and love to conquer hate.

Janice Soderberg Jul 4, 2018 3:42pm

Love this! The level of vitirol and just plain misinterpretation/undertstanding of the facts make it near impossible for any type of civil discourse in this country right now. Its exhausting. I've given up and bugged out for my own self-preservation because I can't take the personal attack anymore.