Minister's Post, Fri Feb 26
These are our times.
We are one month into the new presidency, and we’re seeing the political landscape take on what might be its enduring shape. There was no great repudiation of the former guy on November 3, nor by January 6 when his supporters stormed the capitol, and not on February 13 when the Senate voted to acquit him of the charges for which he was impeached. The 7 Senators of the former guy’s party who voted for conviction are facing strong backlash from within their party.
Our close-to-evenly, and very divided, politics has no evident end in sight. As the percentage of whites in the electorate declines, the proportion of minority voters ready to vote more conservatively increases. On one side is a coalition of anxious whites and secure minorities; on the other side is a coalition of anxious minorities and secure whites -- and these opposing coalitions appear to be roughly evenly balanced for now and into the foreseeable future.
The former guy is out of the White House. This week, a prominent conservative radio personality died. But the kind of thinking of which they were the mouthpieces is not going away, or even perceptibly diminishing. Thus, the work of compassion and kindness must be ongoing. The work of justice and peace will not take care of itself. Vigilance, my friends. Our world needs our voices, our hearts. Compassion, and vigilance.
In the US, for the week of Feb 15-21 there were fewer new cases than in any 7-day period since Oct 18-24 -- and the number of new cases that week (Feb 15-21) was down to just a little more than a quarter (27%) of the Jan 5-11 seven-day peak. For the next three days since Feb 21, however, the seven-day average of new cases per day has begun to creep upward again. It's a very slight rise, but its continuation for three days now is concerning.
Covid deaths have been on the rise for four days now. We got down below 2,000 (seven-day average of deaths per day) for the week ending Sat Feb 20, but have been back over 2,000/day for the last three days.
Let's do our part to make these increases temporary. A third surge is very possible -- but not inevitable. Be careful!
Yours in the faith we share,
Practice of the Week
Slogans work, as advertisers know – so let's put them to a positive use!
Using slogans to guide and remind you of how you want to be brings more peace and more joy into your life. Maybe you could use a little more peace and joy. This winter’s series of “Slogans That Help” has included:ENJOY HUMILITY.
Humility doesn’t mean low self-esteem, or that you’re a doormat, or second-class. Nor does being humble mean tolerating mistreatment. Speak up and do what you can. Knowing that you are prepared to be assertive makes it easier to relax into the unguardedness of humility. Humility just means that you're stepping out of the rat race of self-glorification. You're not preoccupied with yourself. What a relief!
Humility is like an open hand, empty of the weapons of superiority, scorn, or self-importance. People around you will feel less likely to be criticized, and will be less likely to get defensive or competitive with you. The less you focus on being appreciated, the more appreciation you'll get.
At the end of it all, we're each reduced to dust. Humility helps you be at peace with these facts. To enjoy humility is to enjoy how humility makes your day simpler, keeps you out of conflicts with others, and brings you peace. For Rick Hanson’s tips on how to cultivate – and enjoy – humility, see the post: ENJOY HUMILITY.
See also our SPIRITUAL PRACTICE DIRECTORY