ruthcrocker.com
Thanks for the Hope! - Ruth W Crocker
The evidence that people have hope for a more peaceful and compassionate world can pop up at some unexpected moments. Our local independent bookstore, Bank Square Books, is offering an unusual window display as we make our way through the holidays. Rather than using precious window display space to tempt the passerby to buy beautiful books, they have created a tableau of hundreds of small, yellow post-it notes – each describing something the contributor is grateful for. From across the street, it looks like a constellation of tiny square stars. Up close, it is a delightful collage of how people pay attention to goodness surrounding us. At the end of this unsettling and frightful year, this window is a small oasis in the middle of downtown for the community to eavesdrop on a collective sprinkling of grateful moments, each just a few words. David Schiller says in The Little Zen Companion that words can never be a substitute for experience. “Reading about fruit just isn’t the same as biting into a warm peach. But give the words time to work, and you might find – not the truth, but a glimpse.” Many people are struggling to survive tragedies, abuse, precarious life situations, and how to understand what actually is true. What action can we participate in that will keep our sense of communal hope alive when one tragedy is followed by another and another? After the mass shooting of children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, Deepak Chopra offered some suggestions for behaviors that can give hope to those who are suffering and feeling hopeless. He suggests that we should pause over the choices that everyone can make as an aid to healing: “Hold each other in loving …