I think there’s a lot of stress and fear out there. The basic fears: Will I find a job? Will I have enough money? Enough food? Shelter? And then there are deeper fears that claw at one’s heart, even if people are too afraid to challenge them face to face: Am I good-looking? Am I loved? Am I worthy of love? Am I worth anything? Am I a good person? Do I belong here?
What saddens me just as much as the recent shooting is the number of people encouraging others to be enraged by it, to fuel themselves with the spirit of anger. The idea that anger and rage will somehow bring about justice is a terrible folly; these emotions only make truth harder to see. The world is ruled more by the spirit of our hearts than the coverage of our laws. We should be working for heart change more than law change. Otherwise, even with stricter laws, things are going to get much worse.
If you want to make a huge difference, think of the person or types of people you hate the most, and abandon that hate, give it up. And when someone or something makes you feel hurt and hated and fills you with that rage again, give it up again. You may not see the ripple effect this will produce; this world is too complex for our tiny minds. But all humans are connected and it will ripple. We may still disagree on things, but then our discussions will be fueled by love of truth, not contempt for rivalry.
And give up your fears. It’s a supreme, almost unnatural act of trust, but there is no real wisdom in suffering yourself with them.
Somebody else already taught these things a couple thousand years ago, but His message is doubted or ignored, perhaps because it sounds too good to be true, or perhaps because we think we’re too modern and smart for it nowadays. We’ll be celebrating His birth soon, a good time to remember that it’s all true. And this physical life is just the beginning.