Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party in the UK, might not be the first thing someone would imagine when they think of Zen. However, this Islington resident shows us the way in focusing on important work, without letting the ego and the self get in the way, doing what is necessary without resorting to the usual slander and back-stabbing that is so prevalent in politics today.
The 66 year old has been an MP for Islington North since 1983. He has worked on the issues that matter to him with real dedication to the values that he holds dear, such as social equality, world peace and the end of nuclear weapons, just to name a few. He was able to get on with his work fairly inconspicuously, until he baffled his opponents in the leadership race and became the head of the Labour Party through his dedication to change politics, largely thanks to a grass-roots movement that supported him not unlike Justin Trudeau, the new Prime Minister of Canada who came out of “nowhere” (his party was third in the race and not predicted to win) recently to take the election by storm through voters who wanted change.
While Corbyn might not have the swooning good looks and charisma of Trudeau, they hold many things in common, including the dedication of their followers and supporters. This writer does indeed have a nerd crush on Corbyn, totally in love with his morals and ethics, his way of working. He is a Zen master, and here’s why.
In the face of public denigration by the Conservative party, who try to put Corbyn down any way they can through personal attacks, not once has Corbyn retaliated. Corbyn cares about the issues, not about his ego. He does the work and considers it important, without considering himself important. He works with the “I”, without letting the “Me” get in the way.
Even in the face out outright lies about his character, such as at the Cenotaph memorial story presented by the Conservative-backed “newspaper” The Sun, Corbyn has just gotten on with his work. In the Prime Minister’s Questions, when he is regularly personally attacked by the Prime Minister he simply reminds Cameron of the original questions, despite the boos, jeers and laughter from Cameron’s cronies. Corbyn presents the questions from the people, taking a personal step back to allow other voices to be “heard” (among the laughter and jeers from opposition in so called “civilised debate”). It’s not all about Corbyn, but about the people that he represents.
This is a real-life example of how we can live in the face of adversity with honour and integrity. Not once has Corbyn resorted to mud-slinging in retaliation to anything thrown at him. He responds with pushing forward the issues that need attention, and doing his job to the best of his ability. We can be inspired by his behaviour in order to make the world a better place. When someone is trying to take us down, we can take a step back from our egos and focus on what really matters, instead of throwing insults back and forth across some imaginary playground. When all the playground bullies can do is insult the person, not the agenda, then it becomes clear who is in the right and who is in the wrong. We’ve seen time and again how Conservative media is trying to portray Corbyn in a bad light, and we can see the desperation behind that because they’ve got nothing on him (similar to Trudeau and the Conservatives’ campaign against him: “nice hair though“). We don’t spend all our energy defending our fragile ego, but instead doing the work without letting it get in the way.
When we’re suffering the slings and arrows of those who are trying to undermine and attack us, we can let it go and focus on what’s important. What is important is the work that we are doing and the way that we live our lives. When we are able to let go of a self-centred point of view, with the “me” being all-consuming, then we broaden our perspective to encompass everyone and everything. This is compassion in its truest form.
Let the haters hate. Do the work, be true to yourself and see with the eyes of compassion. This is what makes Jeremy Corbyn Zen.
Isn’t it interesting how the Tories of Canada and the UK both adopted the politics of fear and hatred. In just the few short weeks since Trudeau has been in power, the tone of government has radically changed. Silence and the suppression of alternative points of view is making way for inclusion of diversity. The lifting of the gag on public servants, gender equality in cabinet, a minister of the Environment AND CLIMATE CHANGE are just some of the changes. We are looking back now at 10 years of Neo-con horror and realising how the socially progressive country we were has been violated in the most brutal way. What will it take the people of the UK to wake up? It is good to hear and learn about Corbyn and it does seed hope.
I really do hope that Trudeau has set the example, that things can change, despite an unfair and archaic voting system. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a revolution… 🙂
Inspiring man, maybe we can still have some hope for the future. The broad left/green/progessive/democratic movement seems to be gaining some ground. The recent financial crash has demonstrated that neo- liberalism does not work and the world environmental crisis shows it to be extremely dangerous.
We need to build a new society that is compassionate and internationalist. Built from the grass roots upwards.A quiet revolution based on providing real needs rather than promoting greed.
Hear, hear! x
Food for thought Joanna! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.:-)
You’re most welcome, Reginald! x
Was just saying this the other week. The level of desperation the press is resorting to in order to discredit Corbyn is poor at best, embarrassing at worst. Or at least was. Sky News’s latest slur sinks lower still, and yet he’s still there, just getting on with the task at hand.
What’s going to be interesting is how things go with general public opinion – real one, not skewed media pestering. If the mudslinging continues, any backlash won’t go the way the press intend.
No indeed – it will go exactly the opposite to their intention… x