As I struggle with the darkness of our world, the uncertainty of the future, and the gross, volatile excesses of our leaders, I come to only one solution. It’s a small solution, no doubt, and it often feels insufficient. It may change nothing in our world, but it is the only thing I know to do: to live with integrity.
Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I instantly knew what it was: I had ingested so much news, so much anxiety about the world, that I was making myself sick.
I felt trapped in my illness: I felt obligated to stay engaged with the news, to stay glued to the screen of my computer, to witness each horrifying executive order, each breakdown of democracy. Yesterday, I realized that I was killing myself, quite literally: my cortisol levels were in overdrive, flooding my blood stream. If I allowed that to continue, it would cripple every system in my body. I was allowing myself to get lost in anxiety, losing the anchor of my soul.
As a rule, I try not to offer political or social commentary. I feel ill equipped for such a task, and generally try to focus only on my own immediate world: my own thoughts and feelings, my close connections and relationships.
But as I’ve quietly watched this age of Trump, I’m noticing something that alarms and disgusts me: our willingness to forgive rotten integrity if someone agrees with us.