In the past few weeks many people have mentioned turning away from current events. They are powering off the news and social media. Because it's all too much.
From Syria to Standing Rock; elections to the environment – it's been too much to bear.
Anxiety and grief.
We feel powerless to change the future and we lie awake with worry at what the next chapter will hold.
And in self-preservation, we turn away.
As someone who hasn't been able to listen to the news for over 12 years, I understand the sentiment. Fear for the future and deep concerns for what's happening around the world is enough to shut down even the fiercest among us.
And we worry: what sort of world will we leave to our children?
And we turn away again.
What sort of world will we leave our children?
It's a question I sit with often.
But there, perhaps, is the sliver lining our hearts need most of all. Because the answer is beautifully simple.
We will leave them the world that we choose to create.
A world built of compassion and caring, and the courageous choice to not look away. If, that is, we can find it inside of us to lend our hands.
With that in mind this weekend, I transformed my feelings of fear and sadness through small simple acts.
I donated money. I wrote a letter. And I made medicine to send to Standing Rock.
And as we mixed and stirred the herbs into the simmering pots, I realized what an achingly beautiful metaphor it was.
Because we all have medicine to give. If only we have the courage to turn back toward what we fear and set to work.
Your challenge then, is to find the medicine that you have to offer.
And when everything feels desperate, out of balance, or out of control – when you have to look away to keep your heart from breaking – I ask you to make your medicine.
Literally or figuratively, find the medicine you can offer to the world and then give it away.
Because medicine of all sorts can heal us, even if it only passes through our hands.
Your medicine might be buying mittens to donate to the homeless shelter. Your medicine may be the eye contact, dignity, and a hot meal you serve at a a local soup kitchen. Your medicine might be volunteering at a nearby food pantry or defending those who are persecuted. Your medicine may be kindness to those who need it most.
What medicine do you have to offer the world?
Whatever it is, it's needed right now.
It's time to make medicine and give it away.