On TV news right now, the news is all VERY bad and VERY scary. The other night, the show host commented that we have a public health disaster, an economic disaster, a “rule of law disaster” around the U.S. Attorney General’s actions, an absence of national leadership and, oh yeah, ongoing anti-racism protests and more police brutality. And now add to that: more than 30 U.S. states currently have skyrocketing virus case numbers, including my home state, Arizona.
But something else the show host said about “worst” and “best” reminded me of one of my favorite all-time quotes from one of my favorite movies, “Starman.”1 It’s about a disembodied alien who comes to Earth after our “come visit” invitation on Voyager 7’s gold phonograph record. His ship is shot down by the U.S. government, crashes in a Wisconsin bay, and he meets up with recently-widowed Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). He creates and inhabits a clone of her deceased husband (Jeff Bridges), and enlists her help to rendezvous with his rescue ship at Arizona’s Barringer Crater. Initially hostile and frightened, she agrees and they set out on an adventure-filled road trip. Meanwhile, a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) scientist, Mark Shermin, appalled by the government’s plan to capture and experiment on the alien, resolves to help him. Jenny and the now slowly dying alien, and Mark Shermin meet up at a diner near the crater and, with helicopters zeroing in for the capture, the following dialog happens:
Mark Shermin: Have people from your world been here before?
Starman: Before yes. We are interested in your species.
Mark Shermin: You mean you’re some kind of anthropologist? Is that what you’re doing here? Just checking us out?
Starman: You are a strange species. Not like any other. And you’d be surprised how many there are. Intelligent but savage. Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you?
Starman: You are at your very best when things are worst.
Think about that for a minute:
Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? . . .
You are at your very best when things are worst.
I think you’ll probably agree that “ . . . when things are worst” is pretty much where we’re at right now. Nationally and globally.
So what are we going to do about it? What is our “very best” that we can be or do right now to address these “worst” things?
Given the current stay-at-home status necessary for most of us, we probably can’t spearhead—or even physically participate in—a Black Lives Matter protest or any other movement, such as Greta Thunberg’s commitment to address the climate crisis.
But with this continuing “Pause” in our everyday lives, we probably have some free home time. And in that free time, there’s a lot we can do about the “worst.” A LOT . . .
First, take care of your well being.
Physically—you know the drill: eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, exercise, etc.
Emotionally—yes, watch some news to stay informed, but don’t watch for hours on end. Take a break. Listen to music, or just have some P&Q (peace and quiet). Stay connected to family and friends. Get out in Nature (yes, hug a tree). Indulge in an existing hobby, or start a new one. Limit/avoid upsetting political discussions. Don’t get lost in fear or hopelessness. Use the Jin Shin Jyutsu finger holds to calm fear, worry, anger, and grief.2
Second, revisit (and do!) suggestions in my previous posts. From the comfort of your own home:
* Do “Random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”3
* Don’t send “arrows” of negative energy out to anybody.4
* Put more positive energy “out there.” Read your 5 “reversals” several times a day, in your prayers, or as a meditation Mantra.5
* Pick an anti-racism action, and do it. Then do another one.6
* Revisit your values, skills, and experience, and put them to use: do something positive on the issue you feel most passionate about.7
* Get inspired by watching the video “What This Is All About” or reading text from Dan Rather’s Facebook page.8
Still don’t know what to do, or where to start? Try listening for “messages from the Universe” (AKA whisperings in your ear by the Holy Spirit). It could be in a conversation you have, on a TV show (even a commercial) you watch, in a radio program or podcast you listen to, or in a song you hear. It could be one word or phrase you read, maybe in a book you’re suddenly drawn to. It could be a card you pull from your Tarot deck, or on a billboard on the highway. It may be a thought that’s been niggling at you, or a dream from last night. Be open and listen for it. Figure out what it’s suggesting that you do, and then do it. Large or small, do it.
We don’t all have to be Greta Thunberg and act on a global scale. A whole bunch of small things adds up to a whole bunch of big things.9
To work on our national and global “worst” issues, I really believe it’s up to each and every one of us; nobody’s going to do this for us—not our governments and political leaders, not even a group of Starman beings from “a galaxy far, far away.”
And remember the joke about prayers and the lottery ticket? . . .
A man, Joe, has rising debt and he prays to God, “Please Lord, let me win the lottery tomorrow.” And . . . nothing. He loses his job and prays harder, “Please Lord, let me win the lottery tomorrow.” And . . . nothing. He’s on the verge of losing his house and all his belongings and prays even harder, “Please Lord, let me win the lottery tomorrow.” He prays again and again and again to no avail. Finally, one night he says his usual prayer, “Please Lord, let me win the lottery tomorrow.” And he suddenly hears the voice of God say, “Joe, ya gotta meet me halfway here. Buy a lottery ticket.”
The moral of the story: we need to pray/declare Intentions AND do actions to back it all up.
So as I’ve said in previous posts, I believe in Humanity. I truly believe “You are at your very best when things are worst.” I believe in the power of prayers and Intentions in the “Collective Unconscious,” and in the power of our working together in Unity.
Which brings me to another scene from “Starman”:
Jenny Hayden: What’s it like up there?
Starman: It is beautiful. Not like this, but it is beautiful. There is only one language, one law, one people. There is no war, no hunger. The strong do not victimize the helpless. We are very civilized, but we have lost something, I think. You are all so much alive, all so different. I will miss the cooks and the singing and the dancing.
Let’s have no war, no hunger, etc. but let’s keep our “alive”-ness, our individual “different”-ness, and combine it all together as One.
And maybe to indulge the Starman, and to add some joyful energy to the mix, we should also do some dancing in our living rooms in the day’s sunlight, or in our backyards in the light of the moon.
1 Starman movie synopsis, Wikipedia
2 Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) Finger Holds (under “Well Being” on this website’s Resources page)
3 Practice-ing Oneness post on this blog
4 Love Your Enemies: Stop the Arrows post on this blog
5 Who Humanity (Really) Is post on this blog
6 The Time Is NOW post on this blog
7 Oneness=”Unity”? post on this blog
9 5 Ways Small Actions Have Huge Power. Graphic/article on Yes! Magazine website. “Research shows the little things matter.”