A dear friend reached out to me and asked if I would talk about the fear that many of us are feeling. Jill wrote, “We want to know what’s going on in the world, but what we read and hear scares us, we want to let our kids play outside and explore their world but we fear for their safety, we want to be good Americans and follow the election process, but it’s horribly sad to see the hate, and we fear for our future, our grandchildren’s future.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Sometimes it feels as if the fury of animosity has been unleashed and is taking over our world. People are afraid to travel, afraid to speak their minds, afraid to go to sleep at night. The words “violence” and “terrorism” are part of our everyday vocabulary. We try to maintain some semblance of “normalcy”, but it’s challenging. We are being assaulted—literally and figuratively—and we sometimes feel powerless to stop the downward spiral.
There are almost continual news stories about killing and destruction. Even people who live in what would historically have been a “safe place” are anxious. Xenophobia is running rampant.
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future”, wrote Thich Nhat Than. Fear weakens us; it strips away our humanity; it wears us down. Even when we aren’t aware of the gnawing away of security, it’s happening.
My friend Joanne, a wife, mother, pastor and historian, has studied historical patterns. She said, “we are repeating a pattern of destruction. This is not politics as usual. This is not about politics or choosing sides. Both sides are distorting facts for the advancement of others. We need to be careful and thoughtful in the days ahead.”
In a world where we use a lot of written and verbal shorthand, we’re immersed in rhetoric in our political processes. Regardless of which side of the fence you currently sit on politically (or if you can’t join either camp), it’s obvious that many of the conversations are only causing more divisiveness. It’s important to debate, but the diatribes continually hurled back and forth are not making us stronger. Does it ever feel like you’re attending a performance, and are being “managed” by a few incredibly talented impresarios, while being spoon-fed exactly what they want you to hear?
News is being delivered to us as quickly as it happens, so it’s being integrated into our day-to-day lives faster than we can process. On social media sites, it’s an everyday occurrence to see a story about another murder followed by a post about someone’s new hairstyle. We’re attempting to integrate “life-as-usual” into a climate of uncertainty.
Being careful and thoughtful (thought full), as Joanne said, is good counsel. Where we put our energy–collectively and individually—matters.
We must recognize that thoughts become words and words become action.
We must stop birthing into our world more hate, more prejudice, more anger.
We must stop running on autopilot—not seeing what’s going on.
We must change the conversation.
I am not so naïve as to believe one kind word, one show of solidarity or one small blog post, can change the world, but it is a step. All things are connected. We are not a microcosm, working independently of the rest of the world. We are the world. We are they; they are we. The more people see violence the easier it is to imagine violence. The more people see acts of love, the easier it is to imagine love; to love. Each step toward love invites energy to it. One hundred steps toward love invites more energy. What we put out to the universe, the universe conspires to give us.
What if we start a revolution—a revolution of love, of humanity, of peace? I know that may sound, at first blush, as if it’s impossible, but why not? Let’s start individually, by choosing to not be caught up in the negative,
by expressing our beliefs without condemning others,
by having conversations about what’s positive instead of throwing energy at what’s negative,
by talking about what is good and honorable and holy,
by being bearers of light.
I will continue to pray for peace for our world—where a complex story of juxtaposition between joy and pain, laughter and tears, good and evil is playing out. I will refuse to give up my belief in the possibilities—not a nirvana-like perfection, although that would be ideal—but a planet where the spirits residing in our clunky bodies recognize the value of all life;
where all people are free,
where love reigns and
where peace is the resounding anthem.
©2016 peace full home™/intentional living
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