Finding Peace In Turbulent Times
News in the modern era has always been sensationalized, or at least, it has always ruminated at times on stories that lent themselves to a particularly cartoonish effect. Sometimes the news cycle would become stuck on outlandish non-stories, like when Paris Hilton went to jail for 45 days back in 2007. Although it was irritating to be met daily with updates on this type of craziness, we enjoyed a now taken for granted comfort that what we were seeing was non-news that is usually drummed up on days when real news is scarce.
The news I’ve been watching during the past two years through now, which culminated with Donald Trump becoming our 45th president, has that same cartoonish, this-can’t-be-real type of effect, but this time I’m not able to enjoy the ability to dismiss it as crazy non-news that is irrelevant to my life. I get news updates on my phone that alert me to the latest surreal actions taken by this current administration. When I get home from work, one of the first things I do is turn on the TV to find out more about how the latest tweets, edict-like executive orders, and reality show-like antics at the White House will affect some of the things in this country that I have taken for granted. It has been an anxiety inducing, rough first two months watching this new administration through the lenses of news media, and that is an understatement. I am more thankful now than I have ever been for the free press, which has been doing its best to hold our new government accountable for some of the very disturbing things they have done, plan to do, and are suspected of doing.
During times like this, it is easy for me to give in to the urge to retreat within myself and use the state of our government to shut down and let fear control me. The anxiety that builds up from watching these events on the news everyday can eat away at my creativity if I let it, but I choose to be like all of the writers who came before me who used times of political unrest as a catalyst to write the truth about our world during historical times like these. As writers, we have a responsibility to do that.
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At the same time, it is important to know how to find peace during times like this.
I lean on my faith because I know that God is who I ultimately serve, not Trump or any other figure in our government. That is why I continue to set goals, I continue to dream, and I continue to write. In spite of what is happening in the country, I believe that God has put a positive spirit around me that keeps me looking forward to the future and reassures me that what we are going through now is temporary.
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I find peace in taking action. There has always been a sense of peace that I get from doing something to help bring about change in the situations that I am in. This is no different. As I find ways that I can be constructive, actively participating in resisting the harmful changes that our country is experiencing will be comforting to me as they also bring us closer to overcoming these changes.
Of course, I find peace in the craft of writing. Journaling, writing poetry, and writing stories allow for me to escape at times while at times they allow me to express how I feel about this time in history.
Finally, I find peace in the connections with my community, my family and my friends. Sometimes it can seem like we are going through uncomfortable or unfortunate situations by ourselves, but if we just take a few moments to look around, we will realize that these things don’t just happen to us. I know that I am not the only one who gets anxious about some of the things I hear about in the news. Trumpism is happening to all of us, so we must take care of each other.
What are some things that help you to find peace during turbulent times?
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