I can only take so much of the news these days. It is painful to watch our political leaders behaving badly–especially when there is important work being left undone. Citizens of this country are hurting; the global environment is tanking, the world is festering with poverty and injustice, and our government is locked in a battle of ideologies, the goals of the confrontation are not defined. In the face of this political mess, I practice gratitude to gladden the mind and heart, cultivate peace, maintain a sense of equanimity as tensions build. Here is today’s list of gratitudes:
1. I am grateful the world is talking about what’s happening, sharing outrage, discomfort, and fear. This signals our interdependence; we are not separate; humankind is bound in a web of interrelationship and creation.
2. I am grateful children laugh, leaves turn color and drop to the ground, the cow gives milk. Our doings are a subset of Natural Law; it proceeds undiminished.
3. I am grateful people are unhappy about the behavior of elected officials. It is evidence of a shared moral standard and a population confident it can and will shape a better collective future through democratic process.
4. I am grateful for the political debate and the diversity of voices. Leaders act with conviction for what they believe is right.
5. I am grateful compassionate law is standing strong against challenges lobbed from self-interested, fearful, and greedy parties.
6. I am grateful our country has an established set of rules and procedures, a system of checks and balances, that make it difficult for extremists to force their beliefs upon the majority.