Photo: Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee by J. Wilder Bill
Regardless of where you stand on today’s issues, there are times when a political leader gives a statement or supports an order that contradicts your views. The political structure allows opposing parties to create opportunities for themselves by escalating the public’s differing opinions. This gives them leverage to suppress the civilians’ sense of power.
Without belief in our abilities, we become divided. Without unity, a nation lacks strength.
Each of us can make a difference in the government. According to the philosopher and founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” It is through the people actively participating that leaders are able to serve.
Our duty as civilians is to offer support and prayers for authority figures of every level and position. “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is,” stated Mahatma Gandhi. Prayer is action.
Within the Holy Bible, 1 Timothy 2:1-3 provides for man to give supplications, which embrace humility on behalf of another. We are to seek intercessions through angels and saints to exalt our pleas for governmental leaders to receive guidance. Saint Thomas More is the patron of lawyers, civil servants, and politicians.
Most importantly, we are to express gratitude for the benefits within our nation. Through prayers and thanks, the entire country acquires peace, goodness and honest dealings within its boundaries as well as with other countries. 1 Timothy clarifies that only God has authority over men, therefore it is proper to pray for political leaders to act with godliness and honesty. Leaders who make choices on behalf of the Divine promote the salvation of all mankind and support all men in their quest for knowledge of the Truth.
Faith grants strength. Trust in a Divine plan for placing those who are in office elevates our spiritual power. Our support influences their actions and grants them insights of Holiness.
Archbishop John Carroll, founder of Georgetown University, suggests first praying for God to have mercy on all nations, regardless of their views or actions, and then for the leaders to gain “heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life.” He includes all civil servants who are appointed and elected to have powerful protection in performing their duties “with honesty and ability.”
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
Archbishop John Carroll
The English Prayer Book issues thanksgiving and blessings for the leaders of the United Kingdom by humbly acknowledging God’s mighty authority over man, praying for spiritual enlightenment of leaders, and then asking for eternal grace. Blessings are requested in saying, “look favourably on our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth. Fill her with your Holy Spirit so that she may love your law and walk in your way. Give her health and strength; and grant that after this life she may enjoy everlasting happiness in your eternal kingdom.”
Rule the heart of your servant Elizabeth, our Queen, so that she, knowing whose minister she is, may above all things seek your honour and glory. And grant that we and all her subjects may faithfully serve, honour and obey her according to your word and ordinance.
Book of Common Prayer
Even a moment of silence dedicated to the President, Congressmen, Senators and Governors having spiritual counsel boosts their capacity for benevolent judgment. As Mahatma Gandhi explained, “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
Prayers and support for government is a longstanding tradition. Unrest within nations tends to arise during periods of social transformation. It is unnecessary to evaluate and determine what decisions our political leaders need to make for us to enjoy safe, prosperous lives. Merely offering your request for them to be surrounded by Holy advisors and to open their hearts to Divine Love creates miracles. “Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us,” stated Socrates.
Photo: San Diego Zoo by J. Wilder Bill
Our planet responds to love. We have the power to improve the circumstances.
With a click of a button, you have the opportunity to witness global acts of uncertainty. Exposure to startling behavior and witnessing deteriorating conditions on Earth tend to produce waves of confusion. Images and news adverse with instilling a sense of safety ripples across the globe in a continuous chain, convincing many to accept the concept of a bleak future as being fact.
Any time my siblings and I disagreed with each other, my father would give the same lecture, his finger pointing, and his tone stern, repeating his notorious one sentence until enough hours passed for us to be too tired to argue with each other.
“Two wrongs do not make a right.” It was that simple for my father.
An intensified version of my father’s philosophy of life applies to global disharmony. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”
It seems world-wide violence is increasing, however, many of the same issues existing today began long ago, before mass media. On an optimistic note, humankind has survived terrorists, pollution, and riots for many generations.
A cure for global hostilities exists: Love.
Yes, by itself the word sounds ineffective. Certainly, anyone who is concerned about the seemingly wave of violent behavior is a person who cares but the same person might act adversely toward another out of love for family or his home.
By realizing the aggressions on the planet cannot destroy our inner peace, we can overpower the aggressions. With each moment we are given an opportunity to respond to violence with compassion for the other’s point of view, we create a chain of events that spreads more rapidly than the media can broadcast their versions of the events.
The effects of your act of love with one encounter will inspire the recipient to commit an act of kindness in a situation where he might typically have responded unpleasantly. Doing for others involves intellectual reasoning and a willingness to release your ego. Depending on the level of aggression, you are also placed in a position to exchange habitual fear for trust in the strength of love.
As the numbers of people reacting with love increases, hostilities are deluded. The aggressors lose power. Kindness multiples tenfold and eventually spreads so wide, it circles back to those who generated the loving energy. This isn’t sidewalk preaching. It’s been proven by political scientists, James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University that in a situation where acting out of love required a sacrifice by those who gave, their kindness “tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who [were] directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more.”
As Desmond Tutu explained, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
In the greatest turmoil, acts of kindness create the highest ripple. You have the power to change the conditions of the planet. Now is a time for love.