Perfectly timed, Valentine’s Day approaches and my heart is full of love and gratitude for the fact that we are here together making our way through this life we share.
There is much in the world that is so unsettling and it’s easy to fall into despair, particularly if you find yourself on a steady diet of national news. It’s as hard to get away from as junk food. I know because I’ve tried.
Long river rafting trips through wilderness areas gave me the clearest sense of what life could be like without the distractions of that other world interrupting. Floating around that first bend downriver, civilization falls away with hardly a second thought.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the river but I hold it in my mind’s eye and cling to the awareness there is more than the daily grind.
The national scene whips us around hard and fast. Politics and time have proven there is no better way to get our attention than making us feel threatened and righteously indignant.
Sometimes it feels good to get mad. It’s far more liberating than sadness. There’s a powerful rush of energy that comes with it. Like any addictive substance, we need more to feel like we’re truly living. But anger is far more self-destructive than any fleeting sense of power it delivers.
Maybe you find yourself thinking things like, “They can’t do that. They’ve gone too far. They are morally bankrupt. They want to tell me how to live my life.”
Step back. Move away from the edge. Love and hate are powerfully inspiring emotions.
Hey, it feels good to be righteous, no doubt. Presidential election years tend to fuel corrosive animosity to the point that anyone we perceive as “other” somehow threatens our personal moral compass.
Recently I started practicing loving kindness meditation, some call it metta, as a way to break out of the pattern of righteous anger I noticed myself struggling with on a near daily basis.
It’s pretty easy to wish these things for people we dearly love. It helped me initially to focus on my husband and son for whom my love is boundless.
I tried to carry that same intensity of giving as I wished for my family for others I know. As time goes on, coupled with lots of practice, I will find my way toward feeling compassion for people I dislike. I admit it is hard for me to imagine at this point wishing peace to someone I loathe. But I believe by practicing loving kindness and developing those muscles with intention, it will become easier to do it genuinely. I’m a long way from that now but feel better by taking the first steps.
The inspiration for practicing loving kindness came to me from this newspaper. When I’m lost in a sea of global despair, I rein myself and focus on what is in my life here and now.
Key Peninsula News is a thing of beauty and if we could export anything to help the rest of the world it would be to share how we keep local news alive and well here.
This newspaper is a labor of love that we believe helps nourish our community with trustworthy, reliable reporting that allows the reader to decide what to think based on accurate information. Elsewhere local newspapers are disappearing or merely faux fractions of their former selves. Yet KP News has grown much stronger in the last seven years. As has been the model from day one, everyone who lives on the KP gets a copy delivered free of charge. That model can only be successful with teamwork.
We just wrapped up 2023, our biggest, best and record-breaking year by every metric. We printed more ads, more pages, more color, more stories. We brought home more awards — 25 in 2023. We surpassed our own fundraising goals again this year because of the generous contributors listed on page 3 and business owners on page 15 who support this newspaper with their advertising.
We’re feeling the love here, and it’s powerful medicine. Thank you.
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS