These are terrible times

Photo by MD Wray

We need to wake up to the possibilities for Longmont

I am fortunate to have great personal happiness in my family and friends at this stage of life, but my heart aches with the unnecessary pain and suffering in our country and around the world. As a retired teacher, I face a very real threat of economic insecurity.

The issues that require the engagement of responsible, compassionate people are so many. I just don’t have the energy to fight on all fronts. Actually, the overarching strategy of those who are intentionally destroying our democracy and economy is: Surround the enemy and engage it on all fronts.

My personal response is a non-theistic prayer. In the Zen service they say, “Whenever this sincere invocation is sent forth, it is perceived and subtly answered.” At the first evening star and before going to sleep I say,” May Emerson (my beautiful, 9 month old grandson) grow up in a world that is more just, more peaceful, more sustainable, and more compassionate.” I don’t have any expectations that saying these words will “work”. It is just an expression from my heart. I feel it is an expression alive and dormant in many hearts.

Looking at things sequentially the situation is apocalyptic. But things don’t work sequentially. One does not know what the outcome of actions and events really will be. Perhaps we stand a chance.

For which actions to take, I search my heart and remember Bob Dylan’s words, “Just do what you think you should do.” There is an Indian story of a woman and a scorpion. The scorpion is drowning. So the woman reaches into the water to save it, but the scorpion stings her and falls back into the water. This occurs several times, until the scorpion says, “Why do you keep saving me when I keep stinging you?” The woman replies, “It is your duty to sting; it is mine to help you.”

Just do what you think you should do.

Longmont gives me much pain. Driving home from Zen practice in the morning I see such possibility in this town and I see it squelched in the same way that truth, intelligence, talent and creativity are being squelched everywhere in this country. We need the courage to manifest our intelligence , talent, creativity, and personal truth in these difficult times.

  4 comments for “These are terrible times

  1. June 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for this letter Padma. Free Range Longmont lives and breathes due to contributions by authors like you. Submissions are welcome.

  2. Gregory Iwan
    June 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Nicely done. But there are those who would discount and ignore these words in part because they are carried in a conduit wrapped in an EASTERN mode of thought. Oh-oh! Remember “manifest destiny?” How about the Monroe Doctrine? Or General George Armstrong Custer? To think he wanted to become President! Come to think of it, in late 2000 he did. Sort of.

    Multiply and subdue, divide and conquer. What we must unify and conquer is in our mirror.

  3. June 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    “Looking at things sequentially the situation is apocalyptic. But things don’t work sequentially.”

    Padma, this is actually a very refreshing precept. It is likely to be salvation. Their best laid plans cannot account for the unexpected, the unanticipated, and that which cannot be controlled — the human spirit.

  4. July 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    What a beautiful and heartfelt statement. Yes! We must keep doing what’s right and hoping that it makes difference in this mixed-up, topsy-turvy world.

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