Living through uncertain times
Kat Liu provides perspective on thriving in these challenging times.
We are in the midst of a great deal of turmoil, ecologically, socially, economically, and politically. Y’all know what I’m talking about. And many of us have our private crises not known to all. You also already know that the future of the world depends on what we do right now. I don’t need to remind you of that. What I’d like to add is that the quality of our lives right now also depends on how we react. It is ok to smile at beauty even when you’re grieving, if you want to. (Obviously, if you don’t want to that’s ok too.) It is ok to do things that bring you joy even in the midst of turmoil. In fact, that’s probably the only way we’re going to get thru this. Have faith that while the world needs you to act, it also needs you to care for yourself too and to enjoy the gift of your one precious life. (Wizduum.net, August 1)
The Rev. Lynn Ungar shares a new poem, about the unknowability of our life’s path.
The path only unfolds behind us,
our steps themselves laying down the road.
You can look back and see the sign posts—
the ones you followed and the ones you missed—
but there are no markers for what lies ahead.
You can tell the story of how
you forded the stream or got lost
on the short cut that wasn’t,
how you trekked your way to courage or a heart,
but all of that comes after the fact. (Facebook, July 28)
The Rev. Erika Hewitt recounts a story of her congregation’s covenant-making, one that reminds her how much she loves community.
Human communities are messy places—always surprising us with new ways to create chaos. But they’re also (I believe) all we’ve got. We’re the only ones who will save ourselves from our own human folly, greed, and indifference. This is why I invest my life energy in sustaining human community: it’s up to us to figure it out for ourselves. (Facebook, August 1)
Ignorance is dangerous
Kim Hampton responds to the news that HBO plans a series based on the premise that the South won the Civil War.
Far too many people in the U.S. don’t know the actual history of what happened in the aftermath of the Civil War for this “alternate history” to be anything other than slavery fanfic. It’s obvious that none of the people involved in this project have read any books that deal with slavery/the Civil War/Reconstruction/post-Reconstruction. And, as in most things, ignorance is dangerous. (East of Midnight, July 27)
Doug Muder outlines how to fix Obamacare.
Mending is boring, but insurance ought to be boring. None of this is the kind of sweeping change that inspires people. It’s more like when a football team works on blocking and tackling better, rather than coming up with new trick plays.
But it also shouldn’t scare people. The original structure of the plan is still sound. It just needs some adjustments. (The Weekly Sift, July 31)
The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long struggles to sort out how to live with Facebook.
What is driving me to distraction . . . . is instead distraction itself: the loss and sorrow and ultimate opportunity cost of fractured attention.
And again, it’s not just Facebook. FB has become what it is because our society is what it is, our lives are what they are, our willingness and need to be constantly other-occupied lies where it does.
And maybe that’s not your story; a lot of people seem to make life online and offline cohere.
But my reality isn’t this simple. I find Facebook addictive, and I also feel sure that this is deliberate. And that in my case, this addiction—its processes and its inputs and deliverables—it fits right into all the fractured spaces of a larger and equally-frenetic lifestyle. (Raising Faith, July 27)
Tina Porter defends her daughters, and their millennial generation.
They are not afraid of being “politically correct;” they are interested in being kind, fair, and polite, even though they grew up in the shadow of the missing twin towers. You can call them special snowflakes, entitled and lazy if you like, but that says more about your tolerance for cruelty and incivility than it does of their commitment to seeking justice in a society that has made them the scapegoats for all that is wrong with America today, as if the seeds of all that weren’t sown in the 1970s and 1980s.
I believe in my daughters. I believe in their generation. I believe in the creativity and passion that keeps them going in the face of all the hate they have engendered for simply growing up in our houses, with our values, and in a society and economy that taught them to suck it up and accept less. And then they didn’t. (Ugly Pies, August 1)
Fighting the truth of who we are
The Rev. Nori Rost draws a lesson from watching a cardinal attack his reflection in a window.
We do know the truth of who we are and we fight against it, hurling ourselves at its reflection in our lives over and over. It’s only when we allow the truth though, that we are set free to deal with it, study it, come to know, as Pema suggests with tremendous curiosity and interest. (sUbteXt, August 2)