“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
– Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
The holiday season is upon us. While not everyone celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, all of us are bombarded with the sights and sounds and shopping frenzy this time of year in addition to holiday parties with friends and coworkers.
Today, I would like to invite you into a practice around how you show up – regardless of your religious tradition:
For many of us, the holiday season is here – full steam ahead! Perhaps some of the parties are in the past but likely, time with family is yet ahead. And for some, family presents a special challenge: we care about these folks for they are a forever part of our lives if at all possible! Yet, while we may have grown up under the same roof, we have possibly grown apart as adults. Sometimes, connection has disappeared and been replaced by difficult personalities, different values, tension.
This season, I invite you – whatever your personal situation – to consider this: