Love & Wisdom

The distress of our world seems to be accelerating at an alarming rate. War, gun violence, terrorism, refugees, xenophobia, racism and hate crimes are the byproducts of a global escalation of fear. 

Crude voices urge us to react. Safety, according to these types, resides in arming ourselves, building walls at our borders, and detaining those who may or may not be scheming against us. Everyday we watch leaders scramble to address ever-widening cracks in a social dam that appears to be at the breaking point. As we act - or react - to what is happening around us, we long for wise leadership. 

Who will bring this wisdom? 

Many of us feel the urge to throw our hands skyward and pray for God's intervention in human affairs. Even the Dalai Lama has suggested such hopes are impractical. "We cannot solve this problem only through prayers," he said. "I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place."

If we are to rise to the Dalai Lama's challenge we must be willing to embrace the notion that, through our own leadership, we make a difference. We are being challenged by circumstances to engage as world leaders and not as victims. 

The mythologist Michael Meade suggests, "At critical junctures, outer trouble and the inner need to grow conspire to set each of us on a path of awakening and initiation." 

Perhaps, we are each being called to initiate a world order that values wisdom and repudiate our baser fears? 

There can be no wisdom without love. Even small, loving steps towards a more just and sustainable global society make a difference. Reaching out to the sick, homeless, displaced and troubled is a way to relinquish suffering and bolster our confidence that we can make a difference. Bringing something beautiful into the world every day - like an act of kindness - can be a way to uphold what is true, good and beautiful in the human spirit.

At this time of year, we are called to our best selves. That best self, the wise and loving leader, can overturn the regime of fear and intolerance. Nothing could be more urgent or make a greater difference.

Happy holidays.

Posted on March 16, 2016 .