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.