Thoughts on Spirit

by Joe McKay

Around New Year’s, the New York Times published an Op art cartoon that illustrated things that would burden us in 2016. One of them was “the need to have strong opinions” about so many things.

It seemed funny at first, but I notice that I am feeling the effect of having to weigh in on so many troubling issues. Mostly I don’t like that I feel, and hear myself expressing, animosity so often, e.g., toward the politics-as-blood-sport culture we seem to be a part of these days, the state of North Carolina, the countries in mid-Europe that we championed as they struggled to find new life over the past twenty-five years, toward most of the countries in the Middle East who seem to have their heads buried ever more deeply in the sand (pun intended! I’ve got to laugh a little!). The list goes on.

As I tend my spirit on a daily basis, I am reminded of the need to “love what is,” not to condemn and wish things were different. I strive to hold positive, long-range views of national and world affairs, just as I do of family and local community matters. “It’ll blow over, and leave us better off, just give it a while…” is, in my case, not so much an unwillingness to engage as it is part of my spiritual sense, that everything is ultimately working for the good.

So now I am conflicted, not at all sure how best to love Life. Should I avoid the news, and conversations with people who have “opinions” replete with that same animosity? How then, and where, do I fit into the world?

Must I be a hermit, and pray for/recognize only the good? Can I bear being thought of as someone who seems not to care about what’s going on? Can I/ should I, separate my personal life from the life of the larger community in order to find peace?

These questions are only somewhat rhetorical! Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.



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