A worthy pipe dream

Dear President Trump,

I’ve told you before how I say a series of loving-kindness prayers for a bunch of people, including you, every morning towards the end of my walk or run. It keeps me steady and helps me recharge my supply of positivity and kindness, which really does seem like it could be finite if I don’t take decent care of it. Not too long ago I added on another couple of lines to the end having to do with each person or group of people knowing peace and being peace.

When I was closing my LKM recitation yesterday, I thought about how powerful it is for us to share peace with one another and then I had a sort of ‘duh’ moment as I realized that this is what’s behind the Christian church ritual of sharing Jesus’s peace every week with one another. Setting aside how perfunctory it can feel (e.g., some people seem to approach it with a “how many people’s hands can I shake in five minutes?” mentality), I think it’s interesting how we need to invoke Jesus to help us remember to prioritize peace.

There’s also a saying attributed to Jesus that goes something like “wherever two or more are gathered, I’ll be there.” As far as I can tell, this idea is usually thought to mean that Jesus’s spirit is in the dynamic relationships we form and that he is somehow blessing the gathered or the gathering. Personally, I’ve always thought that if he really did say this, he probably meant that there’s a whole lot more chance of strife and dis-ease when two or more are gathered and that people will need him (figuratively or actually, depending on your viewpoint) to help them get along.

I don’t know whether other religious traditions also invoke a central character to serve as a conduit or facilitator of peace, but it seems pretty likely. Maybe things would be way worse without such religious traditions, but considering how things are going, they don’t seem to be helping us navigate the “two or more” gatherings all that well. It would be interesting, though, to see what happens if the next 50 times you deal with someone you disagree with, you took a minute and wished them safety, happiness, health, ease, and peace. Really, if you were to stop for a nanosecond and send intentions of well-being, your negotiations might just go better – not because of Jesus or Buddha or Mohamed or Krishna – but because you reset your stance to be less adversarial and more open.

May we be safe.
May we be happy.
May we be healthy and strong.
May our lives unfold and intersect with ease.
May we know peace and may we be peace.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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