So for Advent this year I have committed to nurturing my spirituality through seasonal crafting, recyling, and blogging about it so maybe others can be similarly inspired. Throughout this period, bad news keeps breaking through my tranquility. I live on the opposite coast from San Bernadino, California, where there was a mass shooting recently, but my mother's best friend from high school lives there and my folks spent some vacation time there, so it doesn't feel as far away for me as it might for some other folks. And it brought back some memories of mass shootings closer by, including one that took the life of the former mayor of the town where I used to live (yes, I knew her, and yes, it was and still is shocking). Mostly it made me remember the shooting in Sandy Hook Connecticut, a massacre that took out dozens of six and seven-year-olds and actually inspired gun control opponents to reach for a new low in their campaign to stop gun control: they lied and said it was faked.
Bad news isn't new. On this week in 1941, the United States entered the Second World War. Propaganda that discourages the government from acting on a problem isn't new either--isolationist sentiment against our country entering World War II was strong in the US, prior to a direct attack on the United States.
These are tough times, but the human race has gone through tough times before. My spiritual goal for the season is to remain in the world, but to not be totally of the world. The part that connects to something better beyond myself needs to be nurtured just as much I need to engage in dialogue and activism to express the need for a more just and fair world. And so today I clean and green my home, because it doesn't hurt anyone and it makes me feel better, and that helps me to become a better person.