***Please note:  I realize this is much (way) longer and perhaps more political than my average PGG – apparently I had to get a few things off my chest! So bear with me, will be back to more regular fare next week…

 Wisdom and folly both are like meats that are wholesome and unwholesome, and courtly or simple words are like town-made or rustic vessels – both kinds of food may be served in either kind of dish.

The inclination to seek the truth is safer than the presumption which regards unknown things as known.

We sin when we have our loves out of order.

~ All quotes courtesy of St. Augustine of Hippo (last one paraphrased via David Brooks)

Once again these past few weeks it feels like we’ve been kicked in the gut, bamboozled and sucker-punched. We have been experiencing an assault on our senses that takes extreme discipline and vigilance to filter and sift through, lest we become casualties of a different sort; reacting out of fear, being dragged into a divisive tornado, or simply unable to function due to the overwhelm of it all which affects us physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Or we pretend nothing is happening because it’s just too much.  We can’t seem to catch a break.

We are interconnected and impacted by each other more than ever; events everywhere are harder to ignore even if we wanted to, as social media only amplifies all that is happening. On the other hand, there are legions and layers of news – or narratives – that barely, if ever get to see the light of day from whatever story has hijacked the news cycle. And for a while now that’s been a revolving door of mass shootings, climate change/extreme weather, police brutality/racism, reproductive rights, domestic and foreign terrorism, refugees, and a Kardashian – interspersed with ads telling us to buy, buy, buy, now, now, now – all having their moments interchangeably ad nauseam. The fear-and-war-mongering is relentless.

It’s easy to feel powerless during these times but we can do our part as I always say, to “create peace in our piece of the pie.”  The first thing you can do is check your own thoughts and perceptions and consider the source of the information we are receiving, what is behind, what is underneath what has occurred – look beyond face value and put yourself on both sides of the equation:

Just because you behaved badly doesn’t mean you are a bad person; perhaps your behavior is controlling you due to an addiction, personality, disorder or mental illness.

Just because you are Muslim doesn’t mean you are fundamental extremist, and just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that you are not.

Just because you are a police officer doesn’t mean you are innocent, and just because you are a poor person of color doesn’t meant that you’re not.

Just because you don’t have an abortion doesn’t mean that you are pro-life and just because you did doesn’t mean that you aren’t.

Just because you were incarcerated for a crime doesn’t mean that you were, or still are, a criminal.

Just because you have a lot of money or a fancy title doesn’t mean you are right, and just because are poor or uneducated doesn’t mean that you’re not.

…….

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