Despite the mounting scandals, despite the obvious failures on all sides, despite the abysmal marks from the Kean commission on safeguarding America from terrorists, despite the huge budget and trade deficits, the Bush administration and associates all over the country continue to push their reckless agenda. Enrich the rich, screw the poor, ruin the environment, ignore the increasing hazards of global warming and radiation poisoning, strip the planet of wilderness, diversity, freedom.
Activists are under increasing surveillance, and reports of harassment, false imprisonment and violence against whistleblowers are also increasing. Working for peace and justice seems more hazardous than it was a couple of years ago, even as the need for such work is more urgent than ever.
It is easy to get exhausted, discouraged, cynical, hopeless. How do we prevent burnout?
Here are a few simple rules.
1. Pace yourself. This is a long, drawn-out battle. It became acute 5 years ago, when Bush took office, and will go on through our lifetimes, even when he leaves, because the social/economic structure that supports corporate capitalism and the war economy will remain. We have to fight- nonviolently of course- until sanity and balance return. So make sure you get plenty of sleep, take vacations, eat properly and exercise daily.
2. Always remember the stakes. We are fighting for a habitable planet for our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Satanic forces are gobbling up all life on the planet; they must be stopped. We literally need God's kingdom now. We need Christ consciousness, the willingness to sacrifice ego for the good of all. We need a strong sense of compassion, justice, and truth. We have to hunger for peace. Above all, we need to know that we are loved, and we need to love our neighbors.
3. Always work with others. The companionship feeds us and we can encourage one another, fill in for one another, keep one another on track. We are working toward a unified human consciousness about survival. The Iraqis, the Liberians, the Chileans are our brothers and sisters. Start with our families, and our local communities. Join on line communities if the internet is your battleground. Working out our differences will help us grow to be all we need to be. Loving one another is a step toward universal love and peace.
4. Know that God, however you understand Him/Her, is on our side. God tells us to choose life. God represents our DNA, that is programmed to perpetuate itself. God blesses the peacemakers. God has given all peoples some form of instruction, in the form of scripture or oral tradition. Many of the traditions contain prophecies about our times, and guidance for getting through this crisis. The guidance counsels respect for the earth, love for one another, reverence for life. This wisdom comes from the ancients, who were more whole than we are. They lived in smaller communities, and were more in harmony with nature. We should heed their counsel, and trust in the deity they communed with.
Isaiah 40: 31They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles ' wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, Carol Wolman