Dr. Mike Obsatz, Professor Emeritus at Macalester College
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We are now experiencing a time of turmoil, stress, and uncertainty.
Here are some of the challenges of our times:
Russia is invading the Ukraine, with fear-based bravado. Other neighboring countries are at risk, and refuges are leaving the Ukraine in great number.
Climate change has affected all of us with wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, massive melting of ice, Extreme temperatures are common.
Violence and rage fill some of our cities, as oppression and racism are revealed. Young Black people are dying due to police brutality and biases.
The pandemic (COVID-19) has killed close to one million people living in America. The danger does still exist even though new cases are down. We still have to be careful. For some at risk, there is still no physical signs of love and affection. Front line health care professionals are burned out.
There is political division and hostility -- power struggles, and decisions made on the basis of greed. January 6, 2021 could have led to a complete collapse of our democracy as we know it.
Children and parents are struggling with school closures, possible teacher strikes, and constant changes in CDC guidelines about wear masks and social distancing.
It is a time of chaos, blatant aggression, and fear.
Maintaining a calm center is challenging. Maintaining a sense of order amidst the chaos takes remarkable energy, mindfulness, and hope.
We need to be lights in the dark world more than ever. We need to pray as if everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on us.
Provide food for the hungry, homes for the homeless, and rest for the weary. If we trust that God is in charge, we must quiet our minds, and moderate the amount of information that comes into our brains. Be informed, but not be inundated with overload.
Meditate, pray, relax in nature, live in gratitude for each moment. Pray for those who are hurting, grieving, and suffering. Provide economic and emotional support whenever we can.
This is our challenge and opportunity in 2022.