If you are to peruse the daily news, you would find enough to make you run for the hills and hide. The current Presidential campaign is more of a show than anything else; with posturing candidates that have no real plans. We have folks claiming that we’re nearing World War III. Social media has posts about something going wrong. We have race strife in the US. Syria is a perpetual battlefield. People warning Americans to purchase firearms for self-defense. There are even online stores that sell goods in case of any emergency that forces you to go “off grid” (war, civil unrest, economic meltdown, loss of energy, etc). All in all, we’re fed a daily diet of fear.
All of the above-and then some-would either make you want to head for the hills, or put an end to it all a la On The Beach. However all this fear has insidious results: mistrust of others; willingness to support any aggression-from cops to soldiers-if it makes us feel “safe and secure”; willingness to participate in any violence against the “other”; breakdown of social networks that involve face to face contact; weakening of any ethical resolve leading to desperation; unwillingness to consider peaceful or at least sane alternative to fear; resignation to some “fate”; The Powers That Be can easily manipulate us via the media or their smooth-talk; we will try to cover up an vulnerability we could have shared-even if sharing it could help. We’ll ultimately wind up living the biggest lie ever…
However, there is a better way to live. Tonight’s Scripture-talking about the courage of spreading the Gospel despite it all-can apply to this post. You see, God has not given us this spirit of fear; and yes, fear is a spirit. Instead we’re given a spirit of love, power and of a sound mind-especially love. You see, you cannot get power and a sound mind without love. As I always say, to live with love is to live with courage; to live with courage is to live with love. Love and courage go hand in hand.
It’s love that will cause us to reach out to the “other” and see we’re more alike than different. Love will cause us to say “no” to violence of any kind and work on a peaceful alternative. Love will give us to courage to speak truth to power (like Gandhi and King); breaking the puppet strings The Powers That Be try to manipulate us with. Love will drive us to ethical resolutions that will involve face-to-face contact. Love will give us the courage to march against police brutality and say “NO!” to war (which included many a Vet and Cop). Love will give us the courage to trust each other. Love will give us the courage to live from out truth-collectively and individually.
Love will give us the courage to push our leaders to the table to speak peace; or kick them to the unemployment line. Love will give us the courage to stand up to demagoguery and broken promises on the Presidential campaign trail. Love will give us the courage to build community instead of living a siege existence. Love will give us the courage to help each other in times of crisis, instead of every one for themselves.
Tonight-despite all the bad news that’s assaulting us-there is a better way to live: love. “All we need is love” quoth The Beatles; and we need it more than ever. It will be this love that comes from God that will save the day for humanity. It’s a better way to live; it will take work and courage-yes. However, it takes no more effort to love than it does to fear.
A better way to live: think about it.
(Image: Grooving to a House Music vibe where love and togetherness flowed. Jersey City, NJ. August 2016).