Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hopeful Thinking - Saturday Nov 3, 2018 - The difference between feast and famine

This message may start out on a dark note but it sings better toward the end. I promise.
It’s no wonder we look around at the problems we face with dread. Gun violence, hatred, disease, fear. There are those in this world who still believe there is more profit to be had from chaos than order. They still think war is better for business than peace. Maybe it is, for them. They do their best to keep it that way because they know they will be the ones who stand to lose if things change.
The uncomfortable truth is, no matter how many times we try to put out these fires, they will only ever grow. The opioid epidemic, homelessness, violence. No matter what we do, these are not problems we will solve, cure, arrest or legislate our way out of. Ever. We have virtually no control over them whatsoever. Try to come to terms with that. As well, acknowledge the following: When we reconcile ourselves to the fact that these problems are not the problem, but indicators of deeper, yet simpler, issues, and then begin to correct those, the symptoms will abate on their own. In direct proportion to our effectiveness at the root.
If you catch a rhinovirus your head will clog with mucus. Which is guilty of your misery?
Combatting symptoms only lengthens the discovery of the cause. It’s nothing but tilting at windmills. Fighting over the Second Amendment, for instance, is only a distraction. We are being baited into divisions over political correctness, immigration, the war on drugs. It’s all junk food which only prolongs our suffering. Let them go. These are fake fights. Adopt an attitude of nonresistance. It may seem like an illogical thing to do, but will actually free you to heal the wounded. To sit and hold hands with a society suffering from withdrawal. To forgive those who have succumbed. We are only human after all.
All world scripture teaches us to place our attention on what we want, not what we don’t. The more people who accept that simple maxim, the faster we will arrive at the next golden age.
Knowledge and wellbeing. These are what make the difference between feast or famine, be it societal or individual. As our wellbeing suffers, things start popping up to compensate. Here’s a fact: Opiates affect the love centers in the brain. It’s why we turn to them as we become increasingly desperate. To solve the problem, should we love more or hate opiates more? This is a quiz.
Focus on wellbeing for everyone. Cultivate human flourishing. That is the enemy of the ”one percent.” Social progress is anathema to doing business the old fashioned way. Why do you think they consistently lobby to reduce funding from education and healthcare? It certainly isn’t to keep us healthy and well educated. Yet that is exactly what we must focus on to raise ourselves from the swamp into which we currently slowly sink.
Educate and empower. Heal and assuage. Forgive and support. If there are problems coming down the road for which we don’t yet have answers, wouldn’t it make sense to start getting quick at making our kids smarter and healthier? They’ve got a big mess to clean up. We should be preparing them. Not spinning our wheels up sand dunes over hateful legislations which attempt to strip people of not only their civil rights, but their humanity.
As for those who would be persuaded to support schemes that work against human flourishing and the principles of faith for which they claim to speak, turn your back on them as well. Don’t vote for them. Don’t debate them. Don’t give them a forum. Don’t engage the beast.
Put your energy on what you want more of. In your own community support programs that enhance education and wellness. Go grassroots. Encourage programs that provide mentorship. Be a mentor. Vote for candidates who support the same. Run for office yourself. Put all your emphasis on the preservation and expansion of knowledge and health. Even in small ways. Teach our kids the value of these two goals. But even more importantly, teach the grown-ups. They’re harder to convince.
Our need is simple to understand because it’s common to us all. We seek to thrive. Encourage that in the world, in even the smallest ways, and the ripple effect of your actions will create change in places where no change was thought possible. Be a champion for the truth by turning your cheek from lies. Don’t waste your time trying to get liars to acknowledge deceit. They don’t even have a word for it.
You have so much power it sparks off the ends of your fingertips. Careful where you point that thing.

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