I really need to swear off politics. It's too depressing, too genuinely insane. Apparently the new GOP House has eliminated the Committee to deal with Global Warming. Most of them don't believe in it despite the advice of something like 99% of the scientific community. And they also apparently don't see the merit of cleaner air and renewable fuel because it's so much fun to see what new menace the big oil and coal companies can create. Or to create new jobs that wouldn't put money directly into their pockets, though I'm sure there will be plenty of graft to go around if/when we finally do begin to invest in renewable energy. And I don't get denying people health care. There was a petition that I signed (along with 45,000 other people) asking the incoming Tea Party folks to pay for their own health care since they don't want the rest of us to get health care from the government and since they are so bent on saving. It's a drop in the bucket - $2 million plus - but it's something. I haven't heard much more about it. Then there was the news from Rush Limbaugh and a number of GOP congresspeople that Thanksgiving wasn't really about Native Americans or gratitude, but was about the Pilgrims casting off socialism and embracing capitolism. (I'm not kidding.) Then there's the whole thing about trying to stall the repeal of DADT for yet another study even though the bulk of military brass and apparently 70% of troops polled have no problem with it. Then there's blocking the START treaty which would have Russia and the US get rid of a lot of nukes.... And of course we have to make sure billionaires don't get the top level of their income taxed a tiny bit more. Oh... it makes me so cranky and I'm trying to find a way to not feel hate filled. I know it's not true, but many of these people seem evil to me. I know some of them are sincere even though I think they are a mix of stupid and insane. But there are some who seem evil. And it seems evil to me to worry about cutting taxes for millionaires at the same time you are willing to cut food stamps for hungry people. Did you know that in 2007 something like 50% of American children were living with hunger issues? That was 2007. Can you imagine what it is now? My world view is so diametrically opposite these people.
All of this whining - besides just getting it off my chest - is trying to lead somewhere. Last night I when I was going through my list of people I send prayers/love to, I added the President and Congress. And then I struggled with whether I wanted to pray for the WHOLE Congress or just the guys on my team. I don't believe in praying to convert people to my point of view, and I don't want to root for people who I think are enemies of the people. Back when I was a church goer, it bothered me that we always prayed for the injured and not the injurer. Who needs it more? Doesn't a rapist need prayer at least as much as his victim? And what about terrorists? If anyone needs prayer, isn't it someone who is willing to kill or maim or blow up other human beings who have done nothing to harm them? I really believe that if/when we come to a place where we can pray for such people with open hearts, the world will be healed in some way. But it's so hard not to get caught in anger, not to get caught in the harm done and not the soul wounds that must lie behind the ability to perpetrate such crimes - whether it's stealing from the poor or blowing up an air plane, whether it's begrudging health care to your fellow citizens or selling the ecology and the economy in the interest of short term profit.
I think I'm going to spend a week just trying to send love to everyone in Congress. I think there is power in such things. I may have told these stories before, but there are two examples that hold particular power in my memory. One was coming home from a trip to Aruba back before I retired from the real world and before I was destitute. The plane was running late. There was a man on crutches who wanted to sit by the window and there were a number of hassles. Everyone was cranky and for some reason they all focussed their ire on one middle aged stewardess. I decided to just send kind thoughts to her. Nothing overt or obvious. What surprised even me was that she literally gushed over me when she got to our row. She could not do enough for me. Acts of kindness don't have to be showy and love is powerful.
The other situation was a retreat I went on when I was in Seminary. It was in upstate New York and the order was dying out. The nuns were older and they were pretty depressed. The food the first night we were there was like eating cardboard. I organized a campaign among my fellow retreaters to spend part of our day sending the Sisters love. The change was again astonishing and the difference in our meals the next day was profound. If, instead of being pissed off all the time - which, I am ashamed to admit, is a pit I fall into almost gleefully - I channeled that energy into sending love, it would certainly be better for me and who knows what would happen to Congress. If dozens or hundreds or thousands of us did it... imagine what wonders might be wrought.
So that's it from me. Not going to re-read or I'll go all loony and not post it. That said, I hereby commit myself to - as best I can - shift may anger energy when it comes up around politics - to love and compassion. And to apply the Thank You for Everything mantra, and remember that the Universe is way smarter than me and probably knows what it's doing, even when it is acting REALLY crazy.
Some things I'm grateful for today:
- Stephen Colbert
- Jon Stewart
- Paint Shop Pro
- clean litter box
- garbage out
- Angel and Tara Grace
- Prilosec (every once in a while)
- the internet
- toy mice
- kitty hugs
- my Bose sound system
- my PCH Sweepstakes winning
- my new dryer
- paid off credit cards/mortgage
- my flat screen TV
- my new camera with lots of megapixels and tons of zoom
- food to eat
- coffee & International Delight
- the smell of white sage
- my nose
Have a Grand Day!