Saturday, July 19, 2014

Where is Our Hope?

During meditation today, we were guided through a beautiful practice to focus on kindness and compassion for ourselves and others.  It is not easy.   Too often our lives are so busy we are unable to find the few minutes to breathe.  Today was different, more intense than I have felt in weeks.  So much sadness in the world and so many near and far are suffering.  Does it matter who suffers more?

A few words come to mind - useless, powerless, helpless.  So much to fix in the world and as I work every day to live in solution, these days it is hard to find any answers.  How do you deal with sadness on a personal level and on a global level.  Every day there are reports of more terrible news, more frightening and more depressing than the day before.

How do we explain such atrocities to our children?  A plane is blown up in the sky - all innocent victims of war.  What words do I choose to express such horror?  Innocent people die every day.   Soldiers try to protect civilians - sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail.  Where is hope?  Where are the Martin Luther Kings or the Ghandis of our time?  Where are they?  Who are they?  Do they walk among us?  Are they even born yet?  And if they are, as parents and professionals are we nurturing them to be great leaders?

On a recent trip to Berlin, we visited the Wannsee Conference Center where Nazi officials discussed the implementation of Final Solution.  It was one of the most disturbing experiences because it is a reminder of such murderous hate.  I felt the hate as if the memory was alive in the house.  I thought no amount of sage could ever cleanse these walls.  As I walked around, I was nauseous and dizzy.  Someone asked if I was all right.  I looked at him in the eyes, "No, " I said, "Being here is making me sick.  This hate still exists today."  I was scared for my children.  As a Jewish parent, there are still people who hate me for my religion.  And now as I watch the news about Israel and the anti-Israel/anti-Jewish protests around the world, I am sickened by the hate and anguish.

Lately, I have been drawn to comic book hero movies.  I'm sure it is no coincidence that in my feelings of sadness, worry and confusion, I'm finding comfort in superheroes who are super strong, deeply compassionate and saving the world by destroying evil.  The movies give good and evil such clarity.

My intention this week is to walk in the power that we hold for love, compassion, truth and healing. My hope is not in a superhero, but rather in the existence of great leaders in our community, in our nation, and worldwide.