Are you also in dire need of a news detox? Me too. Which is terribly ironic (re: my previous post on the free press.)
Reading too much and watching too much news has left me despondent, especially regarding politics, gender, guns.
You know, I’ve had to be reminded that before there was 24 hours news, there were still terrible things happening in the world – it just didn’t land in our mailbox 24/7.
There is the evidence for optimism (see Melinda Gates speak about lowering child mortality.)
History teaches us that lesson over and over. We have madeTREMENDOUS PROGRESS. I’ve heard my parents talk about how hard my ancestors had it (teaching our children about their resilient ancestors is key to modern day resilience.) I’ve heard my parents talk about how scary the 70’s were, when there were hundreds of political bombings, sometimes daily. I’ve heard my parents talk about how scary it was to live through the threat of nuclear war continually hanging over America, the scandal or Watergate, the long gas lines.
In the 70’s, two of my brothers-in-law escaped Vietnam on a small fishing boat. That’s a really cool story now – but it wasn’t cool then.
Is modern life getting worse? I don’t know. But look around. Look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now.
Can we do better? Yes.
And first and foremost, that starts with our families.
It feels easier to march and yell and “save the world” (and hey, I’m ALL FOR THE MARCHING and the voting!) but it’s much harder to go home and love our families. It’s harder to love our neighbors and those people who don’t vote like we do. Much, much harder. But that’s where our greatest sphere of influence is.
Here is my first inspiration:Thee first family I knew. My mama was so tired (she says this look is apropos of her mental state at the time 🙂 ) Our baby boy Patrick was born 17 months later. And man, I admire and love her so much for working so hard at creating the family she wanted, for fighting for stability, for turning off the tv, for making us run around the block for exercise, for preaching the importance of breakfast, and opening the scriptures and showing us how to get down on our knees to pray, for teaching her girls what true feminism is. I love my father for his kindness and hard work and providing and showing us all what it means to be a real man. These two worked so hard at creating a loving family. Yea!!! It worked! I still love this family, 40 years later!!! LOVE IS WINNING.
(We can talk about the haircuts another day.)
I say, let’s love your family first. Second, find your causes, get your boots on the ground and ACT – BUT ALWAYS WITH LOVE.
Hate only begets more hate. Let’s stop worshipping violence. Let’s not allow it in our homes! Let’s turn it off. Let’s reject the idea that we have to be entertained by watching other people hurt each other. Let’s RISE UP and BE KIND to EVERYONE – wouldn’t that be a revolution?
As my good friend, Sue Houston wrote:
The basic problem is that at some level we still think that violence can produce peace, that violence can be entertainment, that violence can be depicted everywhere and that there will be no ill effect on our collective psych.
If we want peace, we need to teach peace.
If we want compassion, we need to act compassionately.
If we want Love to win, then we need to learn to Love, not just our friends and people who are like us.
We need learn to see the common humanity in every single person, and to Love everyone, without exception.
Boots on the ground. Love is a verb. Act. The power lies within us – how much do we value the children of the world?
“And I think that we in our family don’t need bombs and guns, to destroy to bring peace just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world.”
–Mother Theresa, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. December, 1979,
Happy Monday, friends.