Each day, each hour it seems, we are assaulted by the news that we don’t know how to process. We don’t know how to react. We don’t know what to do. Fake news distorts reality. Real news alarms us. On either side of the ideological/political front, there is no real consensus of what is correct, what is true, or what is the best course of action? We scurry about to keep up with the tweets, the changes enacted, and the intense reactions. Furthermore, there are splinter groups within each party on specific significant issues. What to do?
Some of my friends are just whining (yup).
Others have gotten unstuck and have turned their fears about our country’s state of direction into action.
Some are contacting their elected representatives.
Others are doubling up on their tutoring sessions in low-performing schools.
Some are meeting with bipartisan groups engaging in civil discourse and problem-solving.
Others are meditating.
Some are contributing funds and time to causes and organizations they favor.
Others are vowing to be kinder, more thoughtful, and gracious to strangers.
Some are getting back into politics at the grass-roots level.
Others are participating in interfaith activities with an open heart and open mind.
Some are partnering their families with immigrant families.
Others are writing thoughtful blogs like The Mosey Project.
Doing something actually relieves some of the anger and angst from all camps. Messing about in the muck through casual conversations or social media really advances nothing and makes everyone feel worse. Each one of us is different with distinct personalities and passions. The secret is to tap into our talents and interests, avoiding any comparisons or judgments that my contribution is better than yours.
We just don’t know what works in this chaos. Maybe the shared doing—the cumulative effect is what matters. But here’s the thing—the doing has to be something that helps, not hurts. Something that is healing, not hostile. We have all had enough of that!
Okay—don’t laugh at my doing—I’m handing out underwear to homeless people. It’s not about clean undies versus going commando. It’s about being one with, connecting with those who are different from me and yet the same. The briefs and panties are merely a gesture recognizing a common human need—underwear. So the homeless folks tell me what they want. I search through my tote bag with a variety of sizes and colors and offer them their choice. Their hand reaches out to mine to take the underwear.
We touch. We smile. We talk.
And the gap between us starts to shrink.