Posts Tagged ‘religions’

Unless you’ve been away to the Antarctic the last few months, you are well aware of all the Northeast Corridor train problems. Riders, especially daily commuters, as tired of having to deal with not only long delays but also derailments that have led to injuries, and the impending cutbacks in service that Amtrak is proposing to fix all of this.

However, there is no quick fix to this as the entire rail system is over 100 years old and in grave disrepair. When I was a commuter from NJ back in the 80’s and 90’s train problems came with the lifestyle. I kept my sanity by writing, especially poetry, or engaging my fellow commuters in some positive conversation. However, there were times when service ground to a halt and friendly people became angry monsters. Enjoyable conversation was transformed into storms of hatred, nasty words became the order of the day.

Today people have to contend not only with train problems but expensive parking on the other end, long days at work, and fears of a terrorist attack. Kind words, happy words, words of encouragement, all of this are in short supply. We, the commuters, can’t fix the train problems but we can change the way we react.

Words, whether uttered out loud or spoken internally, have an effect on everything around us. What if, instead of using words of anger, we’d dispel some of the darkness with words of light. A joke, a smile with a kind thought behind it, an uplifting comment, all these would make the unbearable more bearable. Or say a prayer. Praying, especially formal ones like the Jewish Psalms or the Catholic rosary, not only are supposed to go up to God, they also have a calming effect on the one who prays. Every religion has its prayers, so whether you are Hindu or Muslim, or Native American, there are words you can utter that will lift you out of the present misery and fill the time with something more divine. And for the aetheists amongst us, read some poetry! As a poet I have always believed that poetry uplifts the inner person and connects one to the greater good in this universe (that need not be a god). Whenever you are trapped in a negative situation, remember words matter whether spoken or thought. They have power over the one who uses them, to your neighbor, and to the world in general. So…try a prayer today!