Monday, February 23, 2009

Joys amidst concerns

Out of silent worship, Quakers often share “joys and concerns.” Someone might cite a birth or reconciliation as a “joy”; another might speak of an illness or dispute as a “concern.”

These days, of course, we’ve focused a lot on concerns that have come with this deepening economic crisis: unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies, homelessness, stress, etc. When those are applied to individuals, families or businesses they grow to personal tragedies.

But oddly, we are seeing some unexpected joys as well.

Here are four:

• Discovery of what’s important. In short, friends, family and community. Charity and simple kindness mean so much. Taking the time to listen, to be together. Celebrating nature. Breatheing. The best things really are free.

• The decline of consumerism. We have way too much stuff. We are not what we have but who we are. Advertising seems all the more deceitful and absurd in these times. We see and find joy in simplicity. Tight budgets make distinguishing between needs and wants so much easier.

• "Swamps" are being drained. I think particularly of a corrupt financial system, executive greed and an ethos that chooses short-term rewards and riches at the expense of the environment and the planet.

• We have the opportunity to start anew. When we rebuild, we will do it much more holistically, much more environmentally and even more compassionately. This crisis is re-educating us — refining and redefining our values.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said here.

8:59 PM  

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