Do you want to help? Step away from the 24/7 cable orgy of “news”. Check it once a day (not before you go to bed). Then turn off the television, the radio, put away the paper and the “news” magazines…and pray. Meditate.
Every faith tradition has something that can help you. If you are not religious or spiritual, there are still plenty of ways to refocus your attention and help to cool the restive, violent energy that is flaring. If this practice does nothing else, it will help to cool the restive, violent energy that is within you yourself. This will change how you move through your life and this is how change will actually manifest out in the world.
If your reaction is to dismiss this suggestion saying it’s not helpful, ask yourself “How does plugging into the insidiously negative media coverage help?” We feed that on which we focus.
There is a beautiful Buddhist practice called Tonglen that I find helpful. There is also my perennial favorite, the prayer of St. Francis.
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;
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;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
(© Karen Opp. All rights reserved.)