Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Time for A Rest

There are many times in our lives that it seems our day would be much better if we could only pull the covers back over our head, snuggle in a little more and rest a while longer. 

Lately, there seem to be more of those days.

From an attack on young Israelis to the shooting at the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie to unrelenting violence in US cities there are many days when it does not seem that it is worth it for us to get out of bed.

Why would we?

The world is a terrible place. I fear for my life.  I fear for my children.  I fear for my friends.  I fear that I fear too much.

Facebook is full of comments, from friends of mine of all stripes, that rage against - what?  Most of what is highlighted is made up, fake arguments that come from that reliable source of information, the world wide web.  Clearly, if it is on the internet, then it must be true, right?  It must be put onto Facebook, it needs to be Twitted.  Or is that Tweeted? 

I have gay friends and female friends who are convinced that the GOP is coming to burst into their bedrooms and forcefully stop them from . . . whatever.  The list seems to go on and on.  I have conservative friends who truly believe that government troops are positioned just across the border (maybe somewhere in Kansas) to burst into their homes and take their. . . whatever.

Right now, our nation seems to be getting into a white hot rage of anger over the direction we are headed.  We have lost the sense that, as Americans, we are all in this together.  That we live in a place that is unique among nations and is a place we should be able to agree is remarkable.  That others have long harbored a desire to become American.  About what other part of the world do people actually dream about living in a country, besides the US?  But within our own people the anger grows.

This has really started me thinking. 

It seems to me now would be a good time for many of us to take a little rest.  Slow down from our instantaneous forwarding of emails and Facebook posts.  Spend some time reading more than a couple of headlines and jumping to conclusions - irrational or otherwise. 

Instead, unplug yourself for a time and read a novel.  Pick up a biography of someone worth admiring and understand that they led, oftentimes, difficult lives.  What is amazing, when one reads biography and historical books, is how much the problems sound like ones we have today. 

We can take comfort in that fact.  One of the great problems with each generation, often noted, is that it believes the history of the world started on the day they were born.  Shortsighted?  Of course.  Which is why others of us must call each other out and remind ourselves that problems have always existed. 

Politicians have always lied.
Taxes have always been too high.
There is always some outside threat to our safety.
Jobs are always in jeopardy.
Children are always getting into trouble.
Parents always are afraid they are a burden to their children.
Government always intrudes.
Businesses always just want to make another buck.

You'll find that in our history and it puts me at ease to realize that we will find an answer to the problems we have in this country. 

We will find it by reaching out and directly helping someone else.  Through our churches, through our volunteer efforts, through our schools or with our neighbors. 

We will find it by getting off of the all caps "warnings" of our friends that THE (FILL-IN-THE-BLANK) are trying to take away these rights.  By reading that this has always been a belief and our nation always comes through stronger. 

It happens because we put our beliefs in God and our churches, in non-profits and our neighbors to heal our towns, ours schools, our children, our families.  As we do that, we also bring about healing for our nation. 

Today, won't you take a moment and NOT react?  Stop forwarding, passing along, forcing upon your "friends" the latest phony disaster that is about to move like a tsunami over our nation. 

Take a moment to reach out to help someone else.  Remove their suffering.  Give them hope and encouragement.  As THAT sweeps across the nation, we will see our nation rebound.