Rabbi Harry, the spiritual leader of Congregation Emanu-El, recently sent out a letter. It began- Dear Ones, First off I am recommending to all of us- and I fully include myself in this one- to limit our use of social media: it feels like it is only fueling anxiety and in some cases escalating the already over the top tension that exists.
I make up 'rules' to allow me to disregard this advice..'No looking after 9 pm so my sleep isn't affected.' 'No spending more than 10 minutes at a time.' 'Not more than 2 articles.'
It isn't only the 'conflict' in Gaza, and the anti-semitism that has shown itself. It's the frightening treatment of Christians being threatened and expelled in Iraq. It's Syria. It's the Ebola outbreak. It's poverty. It's the feeling of helplessness that these events seem to cause me.
When I was in university in Boston in the early 60's, we sang and marched for integration and I taught for one day in a Freedom School where there were two teachers- one black and one white - working together with a classroom of children. And, in the next few years, there were tremendous steps forward. I also supported a woman's right to choose, and again, I saw positive change.
Somehow the challenges seem bigger today. Perhaps it's because I have a daughter living in Israel, perhaps it's because I have grandchildren whose futures I wish to be safe and full of love, perhaps it's because of the constant barrage from the media.
What I can do is to be kind and peaceful and loving in my own life. Kind to my whole self, my family, my neighbours and my loved ones around the globe. Watch more carefully what I think and say.
First remembering to ask myself:
Is it kind?
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it better than silence?