So, about two weeks ago, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. I wasn't a big fan of his. But this isn't really about him.
It's about me, and what I need to do about some scandal around his death. What am I going to do about some people really celebrating it, while others insist he was somebody's something (father, brother, son, husband, whatever) and that glorying in a death is wrong? What am I going to do about the uproar people are making around conservative politicians trying to block a new appointment by the president? What am I going to do about all these very strong opinions and invective everyone's throwing around?
I know exactly what I'm going to do about it.
I don't have to do a thing. Seriously. Whether people glory or not, doesn't matter. Whether people are upset that the conservative politicians block a new appointee? Don't care.
Let me be clear about what I mean though. If a politician, for their agenda, blocks the president from doing their job, then they're most likely not a politician I'll be voting for when it's my time to vote if they stay or go. There's no amount of shouting, or anger, or disagreement that will change that. I just want them to do their job.
Similarly, I'm okay that some people glory in his death. I'm equally okay that others are horrified by this. Why? Because I don't need people to be any different for the world to be fine just the way it is.
I'm aware of what actual action is, and what's just complaining. Which sounds like I'm complaining about complaining.
But I'm not, I swear.
Every time something like this comes up, and the public catches on fire, and people want everyone to know what they think, it just furthers my own resolve that I don't need to be involved in that. It's a taoist thing, called wei wu wei. In english it's sometimes called "effortless action" or "the action of nonaction".
Here's maybe a better example about it. I could fret really hard about whether the sun is going to come up again in the morning. But I don't have to. Odds are pretty good, it will. And if a giant meteor hits the earth, or an alien spaceship hits the planet with a Spaghetti Ray, transforming us all into a savory pasta dish, well, then that's it, game over. If the sun does not in fact come up tomorrow because of a cataclysmic incident, well then I'll make sure to do the thing I have to do - which is most likely, die.
So, I don't have stress out about it too much.
This isn't fatalism, or laziness, or resting on one's laurels. I do have my politics, I do vote, I do try to do positive action to make positive changes in the world. But I also know that I don't know everything, and that I really have no idea how things are going to turn out. So I'll just hang on, stay present, and do my best.
I'm really grateful for that. It saves me a lot of grief.