These are the times that try our souls, while petulant children masquerading as world leaders duke it out on the playground. The problem is, the world is not a playground. Just ask the people of Guam.
The last time we were this close to nuclear conflict, I was in kindergarten. The memories are mostly emotional, like my mother’s anxious face as she sat glued to the television, or the grave tone of President Kennedy’s voice announcing a naval blockade. The tension eased rather quickly and things went back to normal, except that for the next couple of years we had regular drills where we hid under our desks or crouched in the center hallway of a gleaming modern elementary school that had no basement. Other public buildings around my hometown exhibited signs that they were “fallout shelters.” This collective anxiety was part of the fabric of my early life.
By the time I was in high school, the strategy for avoiding the nuclear threat was called “mutually assured destruction.” If one side launched, then both sides lost. It was this delicate suicidal balance that kept things in check until the end of the Cold War, when we gave a collective exhale, supposing that we were entering a time of peace. Our leadership in the world would be through moral strength and peace would reign. Of course, this has proven to be premature, if not naive.
The Secretary of State has said that we should sleep well at night. I wish I could. Were it not for the precious faces of our grandchildren, or the earnest expectations of our kids who work hard and live peacefully in this world, I might sleep at night, knowing that I cannot control what happens. It’s the parental and grandparental energy that fuels my fire these days, my anger at unrestrained and immoral leadership, the callous disregard for principled diplomacy, the kind that has served us well in the past.
But as I’ve said many times, the anger isn’t enough. It doesn’t ground me. It doesn’t bring me the right energy to be an activist. True activism comes from a deeper place, from a soul that is in contact with some greater consciousness. From the various paradigms I call my traditions, there is a Spirit who dwells within, a spark of the divine, a universal intelligence, a Higher Power. At this stage of the game, it matters not what we call it. It matters that we connect with it.
Let’s pray, meditate, be mindful. Right now. Whatever it means to us, let’s get into the quantum field of all possibilities. Let’s persist in our practices. Let’s join with others across all boundaries, transcend our differences, and include each other in a movement more powerful than any weapon.
Politics are failing us. Our leaders are failing us. So, we’ve no choice but to overcome, and this overcoming energy is real, is present, and is available to all.