Still, just as before, the world is an amazing place. It is possible to step back from trying to save it for a few minutes and focus on enjoying it. We only have this one life, as far as I know, and we can spend it suffering or celebrating. That is a choice. To focus on gratitude is to wire your brain to enjoy what you have. For most of us in this rich nation, we have plenty. We do not need more. We are not just making do, we are wasting time playing games or being entertained when we could be doing something productive.
I gain solace from backing away from worrying about my nation, or even my species or my planet. The Universe is a big place. Even if this planet experiences nuclear holocaust, something will survive. Life will persist. Beauty will rise with each sun.
There is a certain freedom in admitting powerlessness. I cannot do anything about our new government. Thus I am free from worrying about it. I can do something about what happens in my back yard, I have a little more power there. I will use that power. If each of us uses our small power to foster love, beauty and joy where we can, we will at least not be miserable. Life is short and worrying is wasteful. Act, or don't act. Or like Yoda says, *There is no try; there is do or do not.*
There is one tool that I'd like to bring back into people's consciousness, and that is NonViolent Communication. Marshall Rosenberg wrote a book by that title, after studying the Jewish survivors of the Nazi regime. He discovered that by speaking from a place of our deepest humanity, we can communicate with anyone. Feelings and needs, we all have them, and we can find consensus when we start from that place. If you have not read the book I highly recommend it. If you have read it, I recommend that you refresh your mind on what are Universal feelings and needs, and start using the technique. At the very least, stop saying "I feel like" when really you are expressing a thought. It is a misuse of language that leads down a dangerous track.
Last night we watched just a little bit of an old Adam Sandler movie, which was supposed to be funny. It occurred to me that his style and his movies were a harbinger of what has since come. His dishonesty, manipulativeness, and ignorance as expressed in his movies are too much like the dominant culture now. It is time to partake in inspiring or educational media or none at all.
Lots more thoughts swirling but I must go. Be well, and do good work, as Garrison Keillor used to say.