In the midst of the passions of political debate and the problems confronting our civilization, it is easy for us to feel helpless. Massive deficits, Middle East tensions and visceral concerns for our own families can have a paralyzing effect on the soul. What can one person do? Leaving aside either a "bunker and bullets" strategy or noble crusades for charitable causes, is there anything we can do to forge a better future for our country?
We can be PRESENT. This is an acronym that is also descriptive of the disposition that can change the future. Are we really present when listening to others? Are we present at work, using our time well? Are we present to the hopes and needs of those we meet everyday? Let's explore each facet of this important quality:
P: this stands for being present, fully engaged in whatever the moment brings us. Imagine the dignity we bestow on others when we give them full attention. Think about then clarity that comes when we confront what the politicians are actually saying.
R: is for reverent. Whether we are part of a religious community or not, life calls us to humility and awe as we consider the magnificence of creation and our own consciousness.
E: is for encouraging. All of us can help another forward, offering support and insights that will stimulate courage under fire.
S: stands for supporting the success of others as we realize that all work is service, and that life is much more fulfilling when we help others rather than focus only on ourselves.
E: this second E represents engagement. We need to find our causes and commit our time, talent and treasure to their missions. We cannot do everything, but if all of us do something, we will change the world.
N: stands for nurturing the next generation as we parent, mentor, teach and open doors for younger women and men. Whether we are married or single, childless or with a full house, we can create a better tomorrow by nourishing the dreams of today's children and younger adults and even inspiring seasoned citizens that they have much wisdom to offer.
T: truth must guide our decisions, whether it is the transcendent precepts of our moral and religious convictions or the empirical discoveries of careful investigation. Opinions are not facts and the internet is not the final arbiter of reality.
Lets implore God for mercy, give to charities and vote. In all of these and other activities, let's be PRESENT and not lose our liberty by default.