“There is only one thing I would suggest, and it is this. Keep a sense of proportion. Don't overreact. See things in perspective. You will come to realize that very few things in life are worth getting disturbed over. If you maintain a sense of perspective, you will grow in wisdom, depth, and holiness of life.”
Sister Mary Roman (Carmelite Nun, Wellesley College)
Sister Mary Roman is a Jewish convert to Catholicism, and professor of German at Wellesley. She echos St. Teresa of Avila in her advice: “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing worry you. Everything is passing away. Only God is changeless. God alone suffices.” Keeping the events of the time in perspective is just as wise now as it was in sixteenth century Spain. A lot of hostile energy is swirling around the planet, and it is the job of the media to pump it up so that we will keep watching and reading. I keep harking back to The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), in which the slick, blue-haired television anchor, Caesar Flickerman, zealously pumped up the Capital crowd for contestants who were about to fight to the death just so that one province could have food for a year. We humans are susceptible to being pumped up. We are easily drawn into mob-mentality, mob energy, as evidenced by the bizarre crushing of people to death at soccer games, and Black Friday blitzes. Truly! Is anything in Wal-Mart worth killing somebody over?
Being able to step back from the edge, and put things into perspective is a good plan at any time. Practicing a daily spiritual discipline assists with that. Whether that discipline is prayer, meditation, yoga, kick boxing, walking or running, it keeps us centered, grounded and solidly in our bodies. The energy of a mob has less effect—we can watch and wonder, but not be caught up in it.
Having a daily practice helps us deal more effectively with the sheer craziness of this moment in time. Staying calm, seeing that “this too shall pass,” and keeping a level-headed perspective is a powerful way to deal with all day-to-day misunderstandings and social tensions. Clarity of mind is a necessary skill to manage the mass-hysteria of this particular point in history. Besides, it's beautiful outside with the autumn colors beginning to show themselves. Get out there and soak it up!
In the Spirit,