Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Engine of Change

A peace filled moment to you!

I’ve been listening to a book by Dan Brown called Origin. There are all sorts of interesting things to ponder about religion and science and humanity, as there usually are in his books. There was one thing that jumped out at me that I wanted to share. It’s a prayer.
Prayer for the Future
May our philosophies keep pace with our technologies.
May our compassion keep pace with our powers.
And may love, not fear, be the engine of change.

It jumped out at me especially because of the last line. I think we all know we are in the midst of tumultuous times. There is turmoil in the environment and in our human societies. I scrolled down my news feed in Facebook the other day and the majority of what I saw were images of angry faces. It was exhausting just looking at it, but I kept scrolling because I wanted to see how far it went. Sadly, I couldn’t find an end to it. Anger and fear were the dominant emotions in most of what I saw and read. I admit, I’ve shared some of those kinds of posts myself. After the past week especially, people are on edge. Many women and men I know are feeling triggered by the debate about sexual assault. Things they have kept hidden for years are coming up and bringing with them a wide range of emotions beyond anger and fear, including shame, frustration, and even hatred. It is a challenging time, with many conflicting and volatile emotions. What I have found is missing is gentleness. It is a time when we so desperately need to offer each other and ourselves that very important gift. Be gentle.

If you need to opt out of social media right now, give yourself that gift. If you need to limit your intake of news right now, give yourself that gift. If you need to sleep more because you’re feeling emotionally exhausted, give yourself that gift. Be gentle with yourself.

Remember to be gentle with others right now too. You never know all of someone’s history. There may be something that happened to them in their life years ago that they are reacting to now. They might not even be conscious of it. Give those around you the gift of gentleness. Even those around you with whom you disagree. It is entirely possible to have a discussion of opposing points of view without resorting to anger and unkindness. If there are people in your life who are unwilling to engage in a civil way, then give the gift of gentleness by choosing not to engage. It is unlikely that that kind of discussion will change anyone’s mind or heart anyway, yet, it can serve to harden your own heart.

That is the real risk I see and feel in all of this divisiveness; it hardens hearts. It encourages us to see through the filter of us and them, right and wrong, fear and anger. It encourages us to close off and numb our hearts. It can feel like that is the only safe option. Yet, now is a time when we need to be diligent about allowing love to be our guide, insisting that love be the engine of change, not fear. We need to remind ourselves and each other of the incredibly powerful force that love is.

The world we would create with love as the engine of change is vastly different than the one we would create through fear. I’ll be reminding myself which world I want to live in and help create, and acting from there. There will be moments, or even days, when I will forget. Knowing that, starting today I will be wearing my heart compass necklace again for a while as my reminder. I hope you have a reminder of your own that you can carry with you into your days to remind you of the world you’d like to help create. I choose a world created from love, and I’m rededicating myself to that.

May the remainder of your week be fueled by love.