It is often the small things that make a difference, both in our personal healing as well as the larger world. The Jewish concept of tikkun olam, healing the world, understands that the size of the act is not necessarily proportional to its contribution to the greater good.
The ability to heal our world
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
During this news cycle, we have been reminded that racism continues to blanket our world. No matter if you are a lovely duchess, or work a nine-to-five job, or are an amazing poet just trying to walk home. Like the snowstorm that blanketed the country two weeks ago, it is difficult to dig out from, but not impossible.
Trump continues to jolt the world with his own brand of ugliness. He raised $207.5 million after the election to support the lawsuits against election fraud, though none of the money went to that losing effort. He made it clear to CPAC that they should donate only to his PAC, making that money available to him personally and to support his America First Platform, and not for those he calls RINOs. He sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican Party to stop raising money in his name. Again, so that money can be at his disposal to provide for him and to be used to support only those candidates he deems loyal enough to him.
Some Republican Governors have lifted the mask mandate, despite all the science that supports the continuation of that requirement well into the future. It has been a cycle filled with racism, greed and, perhaps, a bit of insanity.
There has been some good news, too. Biden’s request for $1.9 trillion for COVID Relief will be signed. The vaccines are being much more widely distributed, with an emphasis on jabbing those communities who have been hardest hit. More people vaccinated or who have had COVID-19, and (thank God) less people dying. My sister is now fully vaccinated (as am I) and we were able to share a long tearful hug. The first couple of trips to the market increased my anxiety, but, a month after the second shot, a trip to the grocery store no longer feels like a daring deed and more like an ordinary chore, albeit with mask and distancing.
All that being said, I continue to do what I have treasured most since retirement, which is to spend quiet time at home. Crowds are an anathema to me. Parties do not entice me. While the world seems to spin off in wild ways, I look for the small pleasures that bring me peace. I saw this week that the poppy seeds I planted last year have begun to flower and some of the seeds I planted this past January will soon provide a profusion of poppy gold that will take your breath away. I planted tomato seeds as well and, while they seemed to take their sweet time, they have now sprouted. The owlet is maturing and is out from underneath her mother’s warm wings. Still just a bit of a fuzz ball, but one can detect the change in the feather color from one week to the next, and this new life is a welcome bit of joy.
To top off this spate of unfettered pleasure: I have just learned that my son and his family have decided to move back from Paris to the USA this summer. It has been a great adventure for them, but I for one am overjoyed knowing they will be a short plane ride away.
I do not have a solution to fight the rampant racism nor the greed and power mongering, but I do know that the ability to heal our world is there for us. We must take care of our bodies and our souls, and never forget to support and protect our brothers and sisters, whoever and wherever they are, as we continue to strive towards right action, acts of loving kindness and unity.
Thank you for your thought provoking post. I think we are all traumatized by the Trump years, especially with the final year having been so unimaginably awful, that it makes it hard to think about emerging from our cocoons to face the world. The previous president excelled in treating unity and loving kindness as something to be sneered at, and sadly much of the Republican party seem to agree with him. We now have to think about what activities are worth the risk, considering both emotionally and physically.
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In the midst of the past few years, there have been so many negative experiences for all of us. Sue Robin is informing us that although we cannot ignore those upsetting things that have happened and are still happening, we can direct our focus to the hopeful signs both in nature and in the world of people. The pandemic is showing signs of healing and soon we will, one step at a time, be able to get back to living the lives we yearn for. I thank Sue for pointing us to look in this direction and showing us that we DO have the power to do our part in going that way!
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I love knowing that there are people in the world struggling with me through life.
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