One of the heralded benefits of these pandemic times is that we are forced to slow down. We may even discover a deeper appreciation of the parts and people of our life.
During the past few years, I have become increasingly aware of the limitations of my definition of “we.” The world in which I live is just one of the multitude that exists within the beautiful and sheltered city of Victoria.
Through experience, education and imagination, I try and pay attention to other realities, such as those of
- The addicted (in all its forms)
- Those for whom anxiety, OCD and schizophrenia are more than a label
- The single parent
- The parents so desperate for a new life that they risk the lives of their children crossing a hazardous sea or border to spend years in a refugee camp
- The relationship and spiritual struggles of those who look so glamorous on the red carpet and in fashion magazines
- Those who have heard the words chronic, continual deterioration or terminal concerning their health and
- Those estranged from the people they love.
At the very least, I experience this practice as a corrective to how easily the call to be grateful, hopeful or joyous becomes empty platitude.
So I return to the words discipline and practice. To enter into others' realities requires intentionality, discipline, and the courage to open hearts and minds.
For me, these lead to prayer.
Joy to the world …