When Despair Seems a Reasonable Response

Cup of coffee heart

Overcoming mind with heart.

The sunshine was beaming through the windows and making patterns across the carpet. After days of rains and high winds along with a little hail, we were soaking up the rays with gratitude.

Over coffee – espresso with froth of oat milk – my son and I settled into our morning visit. My remaining days here are running out fast, like the final grains of sand in an hour glass.

It had been two years of lockdown and pandemic that kept me from being with my beloved sons. I came for Christmas with the idea of stocking up on hugs, memories, simple moments over coffee or a night out at a pub where they played. Being with family. Just being. Now nearly March, I am preparing myself to leave.

But this morning, instead of all the things we had to do for each of our current projects – my new career, hopes for my book published – a real literary agent. My son’s plans to finish an order of gorgeous custom hats for an upscale boutique, his band… conversation inevitably went to what is on the minds of most people around the world right now. Putin’s attack on the Ukraine.

Sons and mothers were having coffee like us earlier this week. Reading their Instagram maybe, and planning their day – what’s for dinner? But yesterday a bomb exploded and their men called up. All of them. What’s going on?

And like seismic shocks, how far will this threat emanate? When will the fallout reach this threshold here on a little street on the outskirts of London? Is it a war? And if it is a war, will it be World War Three – the one that can NEVER happen? Where MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction – is the only deterrent to action on a global scale? How crazy have we become as a human race?

We don’t have to go deep to imagine massive waves of propaganda disseminated through controlled social media everywhere to push or pull truth like rubber bands until it tightly twines around the minds of you and me and those just like us, people. People who are still roiling from two years of pandemic. Uncertainty. Conspiracy theories.

Not hard, even with the sun shining in, to touch the edges of dystopia. What do we do with our day? What can we do to help? Like the movie “On the Beach”, do we claim love and wait for the end to claim us. Oh boy. I don’t like that one…

Our limbic brains have no problem identifying danger. And our compassionate hearts wonder if we can have a ‘normal’ day while someone just like us is facing death, or the death of their family, the annihilation of their home, town, city, life? We gave up the notion of getting back to normal two years ago and now this. There is no normal, only our response to the life unfolding in front of us.

Despair may seem the reasonable response when evil has gained such power and magnitude – largely fed by a collective acceptance of exchange where the price of exchange outweighed the benefit (the fine print). And here we are. Or are we?

Here’s what I’m going to do. Make a to do list of what I have committed to for business and my life moving along. Before that, I’m going to get really quiet and send as much love and peace out into the world as I can. A blanket of hope and trust to comfort those who are facing unprecedented peril. I believe in the energy of good and evil. We see it every day. If we consider frequency, then we know that energies like despair and fear feed the lower energies of hate and aggression. So let’s not do that.

Instead, let’s imagine an equally crazy scenario. The other end of the scale. How about all the people we have been hearing about – the billionaires – the ones like Buffet, Gates, Musk and Bezos as well as the kids that are banking millions on the internet. Let’s imagine that billions of dollars and the best technological minds and the most social media savvy merge into one great compassionate heart and something miraculous happens. Why not?

If you think I’m being naive in this proposal, consider the opposite. I would have to believe in Putin and the power of evil. I won’t do that. I can’t. My heart won’t let me. I can see it all right, but I don’t have to believe in it, empower it with my own fears. Tolkien showed us that simple heartfelt acts lead to unimaginable courage. You think that was fiction? Hardly – I can readily point out more than a few Orks. I’ve even met some. Haven’t you?

Everything that exists in this world, including nuclear weapons began with an idea. A thought. A desire. I challenge myself today to imagine an amazing resolution to this present danger. A cataclysmic shift in consciousness. Where instead of fighting over our differences, we discover our likenesses. We all want to be with our loved ones and enjoy a simple cup of being on a sunny morning. All of us.

Please don’t despair. Please have compassion. Please hold love in your heart. Please do what you can today to create peace in your world. And in your imagination, instead of despair, create a new vision. Live today like it matters, because it does. Instead of seeing humanity as a chaos of individuals, let’s see these days as the coalescing of the human spirit into the power of real and sweeping change. The power of LOVE. PEACE. COMPASSION. This is not only the reasonable response but the only one with the power to win.