“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” – Jesus. This quote tells us how to proceed in life or during a pandemic where the current president says one thing, while scientists and doctors say something else. Every real American wants the truth to make good decisions that free and enrich. The greedy and criminals want to lie so that people are deceived into doing what is not in their own interest; but someone else’s. I want to see life return to normal as quickly as possible with the risks minimized. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I know the truth is the fastest road back.
I have written a lot about the current president and the COVID19 pandemic. I understand wanting to move on to something besides the current president and all the dysfunction that surrounds him. The fact that he is the president doing damage to our institutions, society, and security is a reality. In the face of a pandemic and a toxic presidency I thought that I would share some ideas for coping with the stress:
1. This cannot last forever and we should keep our faith in God. Better days are coming.
2. Relax and exercise with good audiobooks, music, podcasts, etc. There is a lot of really excellent edifying free content that will grow your mind and spirit. Get a library card if you don’t have one because there are free digital downloads available. Exercise will strengthen your body, improve your outlook, and boost your immune system.
3. Plan and enjoy good meals that include fruits and vegetables while consuming plenty of water. I try to drink a minimum of 70oz of water per day, starting with about 30oz before breakfast is done.
4. Seek to help other people while staying in touch with family and friends. During tough times there is nothing like being a support to others because it is an even greater boost to our own spirits. Just sharing talk about feelings, meals, events, people, or the day with someone else is a win-win activity.
5. Consume or create art of some sort. Whether it is a virtual museum, a movie, music, poetry, or music setting aside time to enjoy or make art is an expression of hope in humanity. Art is an expression of who we are and helps us to understand ourselves and each other.
I hope these unoriginal ideas are useful to you as they have been to me. Organize your day into blocks that provide some routine and variety of focus for your mind, body, and spirit. Remember as Jocko Willink says “Discipline=freedom”. We all need to develop and structure ourselves and our time to maximize enjoyment of life. I believe we will get to the other side of these dark times.
The four words “power pollutes; obedience enslaves” remind us that in a republic we have a duty to pursue, find, and follow the truth; as this is our true north. Republics have been rare in human history because of our egotistical nature and weakness for sociopaths who tell us what we want to hear versus the truth. I believe Jesus words that “you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free”. The truth frees us and lies are meant to enslave us in one way or another. Today we see networks and political parties of people who regularly deny or obstruct the truth. Our duty as citizens is to question authority to make sure those claiming to be leaders remain servants of the people, and seekers of truth.
Dr. Martin Luther King said that “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” As I look at today’s challenges this quote resonates as loudly as it ever has. We poison our planet with carbon and plastic while a few thousand billionaires have more wealth than over four billion people. In the United States and other countries tribalism is on the rise and threatens to destroy any effort at global collaboration to save, or improve life on our planet. Many Americans say they would rather have a dictator who thinks like they do rather than have a constitutional republic. Fools and foolish thinking is at high tide right now, but we can change that in 2020… it may be our last chance in more ways than one.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” is the first verse at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. Apparently we are shutting the door to being the shining city on a hill, and becoming the torture garden for any who dare to come here seeking asylum. There are many who say that we have lost our way, and have become a pillar of selfishness on a planet that we have pushed to the limit of being able to support our species. We do little to lead the world in addressing the climate problem we have helped to create, and we allow our country to become the land of the cruel.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” Mark Twain
I am not sure that I agree with Mark Twain about anyone being prepared to die at any time, but I certainly think he knows more about living fully than I do. Death for the living is an abstract concept. The living only know that death is a final exit from the lives that we know. I do understand the first part of the statement. Life is where the pain that we understand is, and we all know that life with illness or trauma can be extremely painful. So I guess if we are totally engaged with life (living fully) we understand that the end can come at any time…and maybe this is as prepared for death as we can be.
To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”
This quote provokes many questions and thoughts about the nature of discipline and translating thoughts into action. You have to first assume about this quote that Goethe is not referring to negative or evil thinking. Obviously it is wonderful that we do not act on our lowest thoughts. Goethe is likely referring to our highest thinking and ideas for ourselves and others and why we so often fail to follow up. Part of the quote’s genesis could be concern about fear or social pressure (hardest thing…act in accordance with your thinking) as well as individual weakness. What do you think?