Three Answers to the Craziness of Reality
I don’t know about you, but I was getting pretty tired of reality. Politics, shootings, war, arguing… But then three things happened that gave me the idea that the world really will go on and it would work out okay.
The first thing was seeing a movie about a guy who was never president of anything and did a lot of singing and talking to kids for a living. After 9/11, one of the most important points Fred Rogers made was to “look for the helpers”. When I started to really pay attention to the news, even in stories of tragedy, there were always helpers. I am trying to focus on them as models for my thoughts and actions.
The second was working with a friend on a Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship project. While preparing hygiene kits for the Homeless Stand Down, we got to talking about our religious understanding. We were not of the same faith tradition, but we were able to ask questions of each other and to share deeply and honestly. It showed me that it is possible to see the Divine as well as difference in others.
The third thing was at a memorial for the victims of the Tree of Life shooting. At the Sabbath Memorial Service at Temple Emanuel, the prayers did not ask for retribution or the change of others. They asked for guidance and courage to help us make changes in ourselves to bring about a just world.
So these are things that I can do: focus on the helpers, see the Divine in everyone, and work on my own self instead of trying to get everyone else to fit my vision of the world. It is such a small change, globally speaking, but a large change in my outlook.
Elizabeth Dyer is a member of Church of the Good Shepherd and the church’s representative to the Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship.