Conversations these day are tough. We bombard each with fear, despair, disillusionment and division. People are stressed. They are frightened about the future; about tomorrow. How will we pay for college? How will we afford the house? Republicans are stupid. Liberals are dangerous. Talk show hosts are hoping President Obama fails. Our country, our homes, our businesses are divided. We are rendered ineffective by the uncertainty of our times. We all but defeat our selves with worry and blame.
Shards of hope sometimes pierce this veil of darkness revealing strong bonds of friendship, faith and love that bouy our families and our communities. Volunteers are showing up at local shelters. Recruiters are offering free workshops at the local YWCA to help the newly unemployed polish resumes, learn to interview and connect with others. Women are cleaning out closets and donating suits to Dress for Success. Families are canceling cable and playing board games again, talking with and to each other. Friends are hosting pasta nights instead of going out to eat. Neighborhoods are collecting money to save local bookstores and family farms. We are being conscious about our spending and our waste. We are buying locally. We are reusing and repairing things instead of throwing them into the landfills. We are bringing our own bags to the grocery store.
There is reason for despair and there is reason for hope. There is reason for inaction and there is reason for action. Pundits are sowing fear and hatred. We forget our own strength. We forget sometimes that we can choose. And that our choices can change the world. So I choose to act. I choose to sow joy not sadness. I choose to sow peace, not injury and I choose to sow love instead of hatred.
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.