Creating an Enchanted Oasis in a World Where Violence Too Often Occurs

Enchanted 1955

I had planned to share a post on symbols of enchantment today, but with the latest tragic gun violence in Colorado last night, it seemed appropriate to talk about the challenges of daring to live an enchanting life when we live in a world that is filled with injustice, tragedy, and senseless actions of the few that affect the many.

Whether we see senseless violence in the world or ongoing injustices, we can feel that creating peace and beauty for ourselves is frivolous or a way of burying our heads in the sand.

I felt a tinge of guilt for my own prosperity when I was reading Behind the beautiful forevers Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity  a book by the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Katherine Boo, about life in the slums of India.  She spent four years observing Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.  As I read the book, I couldn’t help but be struck by the injustice of so much wealth juxtaposed next to such dire poverty.  For most of us, the way forward is not to all become impoverished but bring balance to our abundance and prosperity.

Yesterday, I heard a riveting radio program that talked about research that has shown that countries where income inequality is high experience increases in a large number of undesirable effects including mental illness, while countries with greater income balance experience more of the good things we all want. In my other blog, I wrote about the increasing amounts of data pointing to the societal problems caused from income inequality in America and other countries around the world.   You might be surprised to find how poorly America shows up on the income inequality scale, or maybe you wouldn’t if you have been paying attention to what has been happening in this country during the last 30 years.

We are living in a time when the questions for all of us include:

  1. How do we keep our heart and mind open to the injustices and tragedies in the world, at the same time that we allow ourselves to experience and create enchantment in our own lives?
  2. Can we use positive thinking and prayers to change the inequities in the world around us?
  3. Is there a change we feel called to make in our own lifestyle?
  4. How can we improve lives for ourselves and help others when we live in less than ideal cultures and social systems?
  5. Can we do something to change the inequalities in our own world?

When I hear or read about a tragic event like the shooting in Colorado, I choose to focus not only on the causes of the senseless violence, but on the outpouring of the kindness of strangers to those who have been hurt.  There is so much goodness in the world, and we need to remember that too.

The enchanted symbols that I’ll return to discussing tomorrow can help us realize that our questions are the same ones that humans have struggled to answer for millennia.  Perhaps seeking a more enchanting life individually can lead to new understandings of how to create a better world for all of us.

13 thoughts on “Creating an Enchanted Oasis in a World Where Violence Too Often Occurs

  1. Gina's Professions for PEACE says:

    Thank you… THANK YOU so much for this amazing article. You have helped bring me out of a nearly immobilizing sickness about it, and back to a place of hope. “There is so much goodness in the world, and we need to remember that too.”
    Bless your heart Karen. This post has helped me and will reach many others, touching us all with a sense of what can be done. We must hang on to hope.
    Love, Gina

    • Karen Wan says:

      I’m so glad this blog was helpful for you. In some ways, I write each blog for myself as much as anyone else. We do have to hang on and inspire each other because goodness does prevail, though it’s definitely hard to see at times.
      And thanks so much for your peaceful and lovely blog, which also strengthens my conviction that there is much good we can do in the world and keeps me inspired.
      Love and blessings,

  2. 3D Eye says:

    “The way forward is not to all become impoverished but bring balance to our abundance and prosperity” – this is a wonderfully clear and concise summary of what all nations should aspire to. There is a gathering consensus on the unfairness of the 1% being obscenely and undeservedly wealthy, to the detriment of all. The real challenge is finding some consensus on how the balance of abundance and prosperity is best achieved.

    Many thanks for those links to related articles.

    • Karen Wan says:

      That balancing is a tough challenge because people have such different views on how to create balance. I had a great talk with a friend who has very different views than I do about how to bring balance to the world, but we both agreed on the need for more balance. Maybe there is some starting point there.

      I appreciate your blog very much. I was particularly intrigued by your link to the Finnish education system, which seems to embody so much of what I believe is important.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thank you and my heart to goes out to the victims in Colorado as well as everyone in Colorado who has to endure this great sadness and tragedy.

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