Friday, October 18, 2019

Facing life with faith and equanimity

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Sometimes people say that a person is a "man of the times". We also say that a person was in the right place at the right time. Circumstances are constantly shifting. Accidents are waiting to happen. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Are you ready for whatever comes your way? Will you be able to take advantage of the future circumstances? The Boy Scout motto is "Be prepared". When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

A spiritual life is one where a person is light on his feet, is able to go with the flow, to respond to circumstances even if challenging and at times distressful. My goal, of which I often fall short, is to face life and whatever it brings with equanimity.

I have dealt with many very difficult things in my life, the most difficult of which was when my two youngest children were killed in a drunk driving crash. People often ask, “How do you deal with something like that?” People have dealt with worse things in the Holocaust, and today they deal with worse things as the consequences of Trumpism are felt in the U.S. and around the world. You cannot compare one traumatic tragedy with the next for each is unique and worthy of acknowledgement in its own right.

People want to blame God for letting such things happen but this is nonsense for God had nothing to do with it. It is human beings who cause DWI crashes and war and most of the other terrible events which inflict pain on people. It is a lack of awareness and stupidity that causes most of the heartache in the world and until people learn and become more aware, these heartaches will continue.

The mature soul knows that people are ignorant – that is- they are unaware. They sleep walk through life unconscious for if they were truly conscious they couldn’t do the hurtful and destructive things they do and the support they give to others who do them. There is a tremendous lack of awareness of the interdependent web of life of which all things are a part.

I always liked the bumper sticker which says, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
And so I suffer from therapeutic depression in which I observe the goings on and I try to maintain an attitude of compassion and equanimity because otherwise life would be too hard and I would give up.

It is faith that keeps me going. I am reminded of the old spiritual, “We’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord.” So when people ask me how do you do it, I say “Faith”. Faith not in some far away God up in the clouds, but faith in my values of Unitarian Universalism and the other great religions which believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and justice and compassion and equity in human relations, and the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and a respect for the interdependent web of all existence, and an abiding faith that some day all humans will get it. We have a ways to go before everybody loves everybody all the time. I look forward to that day with faith, optimism, and equanimity

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