The Exhausted Majority…..

….R Us. (or, R me, anyway).

A study last year discussed how a large percentage of Americans may not fit into the traditional political mold: neither liberal nor conservative, aligned with neither Republican nor Democrat, and that many people find the fractured political landscape leads to fractures in relationships with family, friends and coworkers.

For the last few years I have found myself obsessively-sometimes literally for hours daily-scouring news stories, posts, tweets and “reddits” and nodding “yes” and vehemently shaking my head (and sometimes my fist) “no” and I can see its affect on my mental health (or lack thereof….). My sleep is disrupted, there is a constant undercurrent of anxiety….and so this is my Lenten “fast:”

No “headline” snippets….no WaPo news feed, no CNN (perpetually) Breaking News….no “tweet” following. I will allow myself to watch the evening newscast and listen to NPR on my morning commute. The Fluff Busting Purity app allows me to filter out not only all Ads and “suggested posts,” but also to whitelist (or blacklist as it were) any word, i.e. “Donald” “Republican,” “Pelosi,” “AOC…” making my FB feed open to more food and kitty pics (though as most of you know I have mostly opted out of facebook)!

As the new year approached, a member of my running chat board asked the question: “what is your (general) goal for this year?” Part of my answer was “Goal for 2019: ‘Try to live the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi'” (which of course was most likely NOT written by St. Francis….). So far in 2019, I have been less than adherent…..

My prayer is that I will spend less time obsessing/worrying/gnashing teeth over the daily political discord, and instead spend that time seeing the people behind those headlines, tweets and posts, as the child of God that each of them is.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is dispair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.