How can we be present to what’s happening in the world without giving in?

You and I see the images of families separated at our borders, refugees making perilous journeys is small rickety boats, and read headlines of difficulty and despair.  If you are like me it is often way too much.  How can we let all that in and feel in any way that we can offer something helpful?

Without answering that question directly, my intuitive sense this summer was to devote more of my time to support folks nearby more directly in any way I could; donations of time, money, effort to those in need and those helping others.  Last term I put together an evening to share with everyone to ponder the question together, “How to make the world a better place?”  Likewise I offered time and space here for morning meditations a couple of times a week to provide a quiet, safe place to share a quality of attentive presence with one another, in the face of whatever life is right now.

Of course this does not fix the bigger problems around us and the sense of helplessness to affect the bigger problems still lingers.   Yet . . . something, some small thing,  has been offered in a direction that is hopeful.  That seems to lead toward further contribution.  Perhaps at Helen Keller noted what we sense can be “. . . transmuted to the deeper faith.”

I was so thankful and encouraged when a friend sent along this podcast from the NPR program OnBeing.  It’s commentary by Krista Tippet, the show’s host.  She has interviewed hundreds of people on her show.  Folks who meet the challenges, huge challenges, seemingly unsolvable challenges of the world in ways that are courageous and hopeful.  What so many of them have in common is a sense of hope.  A willingness to lean deeply into the problem at hand with courage, compassion, and hope.  A sense of ‘Yes, and . . .’  Seeing the world for all its difficulty and the joy that is tucked in there nearby.

Here is an incredibly hopeful and encouraging commentary by Krista Tippet about her struggle to make sense of the difficulties she sees every day and her willingness to practice hope, give herself permission to sense joy even as she works to make the world a better place.

I hope this will encourage you as it did me  —  Brant

How can we be present to what’s happening in the world without giving in to despair and hopelessness?  commentary podcast  by Krista Tippet on NPR’s OnBeing