I am not here to tell you if Donald Trump is a good man or a bad man, or to tell you if he has done good things or bad things, or if he should go away or stay. There are many places for you to go to read about that in detail, and if you wish, to argue about it and boil and stew.
This blog is not, I hope, one of those places. Either way, you will have to make your own decision, I am not here to tell you what it should be.
National politics are not the main focus of my blog or my writing, I sit on my farm too far outside the circle to know what is happening or to tell other people what has happened. I have my own ideas and the right to them, I have no right to tell you what your ideas should be.
Neither am I an ostrich, deaf and dumb and blind to what is happening in the world beyond me. Many people i know and many people who read me and many people on all sides of things are upset, some deeply so. It is a time for me to consider what it means to be a free man in America in 2017 and what I wish my country to be.
The news is like a flock of shrieking ravens, gathering in a cloud. calling out in fear and alarm. There is no escaping it, it is a monster that never sleeps.
I read a young poet's account of the mood of the country a few years before the Civil War. He said he could feel a great cloud approaching, a great conflict in the air. He did not imagine a Civil War, and neither do I, but there is a great struggle going on, and every thinking person will be called upon to decide what he or she believes in, and wants to do.
That is all I can do. I am not going on TV to shout at people or to town halls to scream at politicians and throw things at them.
I can only share what I think. I am going ahead with my ideas about doing good, doing the best as I can for as long as I can. I am focusing my heart and soul on my farm, the animals, the blog, Maria, the Mansion residents and the refugee children. I am not jumping into that awful pool, there is nothing there for me..
The very personal part of this for me is about temperament.
Temperament is important. It speaks to a person or animal's nature, it affects their disposition, character, personality. Temperament is the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; his or her natural disposition.
St. Thomas said that a man is good when his will take joy in what is good, evil when his will take joy in what is evil. He is virtuous when he finds happiness in a virtuous life, sinful when he takes pleasure in a sinful life. The things we love tell us what we are.
A temperamentally angry man or woman may be more inclined to anger than another person. But as long as he remains sane he is free not to be angry. Anger is, in my mind, a force in character which can be turned to good or evil, according to one's desires.
We remain free to make our own choices.
I choose not to be angry.
I choose not make my life an argument.
I choose to take joy in doing good, and not in what is evil.
I choose to listen and learn empathy, to stand in the shoes of others.
It is not what comes at me from the outside that determines my freedom, it is what happens inside of me that keeps me free or takes my freedom away.
Temperament does not guarantee one man's sanctity or condemn another to evil. My temperament is a gift, a part of my soul, a talent I can do with as I choose. I can make it serve my good desires, I can do better than someone who gives his temperament over to rage and jealously and argument.
I am feeling strong and clear.
It is easy to turn away from all of this cheap emotion and rage and farce with a kind of unyielding despair, and seek God, as Thomas Merton writes, "in a desert where the emotions can find nothing to sustain them."
If our emotions really languish and die in this desert of anger and accusation and conflict, then our humanity and compassion dies with them. That is not my choice.
I look at parts of the exterior world now as a desert, free of empathy or compassion. I can either go to the desert, or stay outside and keep myself and my temperament free and intact, my capacity for feeling expanded and deepened, growing stronger every day against the lure of deceit, anger, resentment.
I want to go instead of me where t is great, noble and pure. That's my plan. The things we love tell us what we are.