We wake up everyday to bad news in our world. The devastation in Japan is overwhelming, beyond anything most of us can imagine. The feeling of helplessness in the face of such a disaster is common. Really, what can I do here in my little world, a part of the world that hasn't experienced anything nearly as catastrophic? Sending money is easy, writing a check is basic. Can I actually go to Japan and physically help? No. Can I wipe the tears away from a mother who has lost everything near and dear to her heart? Can I bring her child back? Can I rebuild her home? No, no, and again, no. So what can I do? I pray. I meditate. Simply. Openly. And with as much love as I can hold and send forth out of my heart and into the hearts of everyone affected. Does it make me feel better? Yes. Does it really help? I have to believe that in some way it does. I have to believe that at the moment my loving energy goes out into the world, it meets up with a struggling heart calling out for help. Maybe a moment of calm comes over them. Maybe a sense of hope takes over. Maybe not. I really don't know if I can affect something so tragic just by sending my love. But this I know.....
I can live my life here and now as kind as possible. I can shift my focus onto the positive and away from the negative images, the 24/7 news coverage, and the grim predictions. I can lend my life to what is beautiful and good and true. I can help locally if I am asked. I can physically lend a hand to someone in need here and now....in Lexington, Kentucky. If I sit and feel sad and watch the news over and over again as they incessantly replay every devastating scene of destruction, then I am allowing myself to get sucked up into the drama. Turning away from the bad news is not heartless. Yes, it may provide a certain self-preservation, but it will keep my energy level at a higher place, at a freer level where I can do more good in sending out prayer and intention, instead of just letting the chaos take over.
I would never presume to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do in this life, but for me I have found that simply by turning away from the grimness of our world, I am better able to catch onto the good that is being done, here and now. This is where I live. How may I serve here? Leonard Bernstein said it beautifully: "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before". Let your passion for whatever it is you do be your response to violence, terror, disasters. And I would venture to paraphrase here further and say...."Let this be my response to tragedy: to love deeper, to be kinder, to serve my fellow man more devotedly then ever before". Who knows what good could come of it? Who knows indeed what blessings may come to those who are reaching out in fear and desperation? God forbid I ever have to endure such a disaster in my lifetime, but if I do, I will know I am not alone. We are never alone. And that is my prayer this day. May they know they are not alone. May all that is good and right in this world transcend all that is wrong.
May they be lifted up. Truly, no man is an island. Bless the men, women and children of Japan this day and from now on. Amen.
Until next time...blessings upon your heart