|convento de las clarisas, Astudillo|
This is going to sound "woo-woo," but what the hell.
I watch the news, and most of it is bad. Soon our money will be worthless, the plans we made to keep us in comfort for the next few years are not so stable and sensible after all. What can I do? How can I get ready? How can I change a system so evil and so entrenched?
I felt scared for a little while. I looked at the wall of negativity on the Web, and I sat down with it to think. I decided to look round the other side of it, at what else could happen. I looked for a glimmer of light.
On the other side of this mess is something simple and beautiful.
I pray for it. I think so much of the answer to the fear and suffering around us, the suffering that is and may be to come, is for everyone to calm down, shut up, and do something Good.
Doing Good doesn´t have to cost anything. It is therapeutic, calming and cleansing. It has tons of historic precedent. You don´t need lessons or workshops or seminars to learn to do it. You don´t even need to believe in anything or anybody. It is as natural as breathing. It is something humans just do, whether or not they call it "prayer" or "works of mercy" or "charity work" or "volunteering" or "standing up for what´s right."
My friend Claire made me think a couple of days ago, when she quoted author Brian Taylor, an Episcopalian Rector:
"Do you feel God most directly when you sing the blues? Then sing the blues and call it prayer. Do you blurt out things that everyone seems to be thinking but no one is saying? Blurt one, and call it the prompting of the Spirit. Do you love to cook and eat? Hold parties and consider it Holy Communion."
So he expanded on the "prayer" thing a bit. My point is, many of the things we do naturally are, with a simple re-phrase, doing Right. Doing Good. People have stuck labels on all these things and assigned them to lists and Virtues and Gifts of the Spirit, Sacraments, etc. etc., as if they were church property.
Nope. If God is as big as the church people say (s)he is, no one can co-opt goodness. It is from God. It is natural and human and therapeutic. It is not Democrat or Republican, Labour or Tory, liberal or conservative. You know what it is, because you are good.
Unless you are a sociopath, you know what is right, and you know what needs to be achieved in your house or yard or street or neighborhood. Shut off the goddam TV and/or computer and go do it.
For all our sakes. For God´s sake.
It will put your mind at ease. It will correct wrong, clean up the mess, solve a few problems. Just imagine if everybody stopped snarling, snarking, fighting, and worrying, and just did something good. Every day. Not waiting for the government to do something, not worrying about someone else taking advantage. Just doing it because it needs to be done, and our hands are free, and the needs are clear.
Even if the über-rich win and we all must live under a bridge, if we all are in the habit of doing Good we will make the bridge into a community, where good people do good for one another, without having to make a buck out of it, without having to score points at someone else´s expense. Maybe when we are all collectively screwed out of all our "belongings" we can dump our over-hyped, alienating "Individualism" and learn to take care of each another.
Jesus talked about that. Jesus the homeless brown-skinned revolutionary, the woo-woo Jew. (If I am just a silly dreamer, I am in very good company.)
We cannot stop a financial armageddon. But we can stop being afraid, and go out and be kind to our neighbors. This is the only answer I can find.