I am happy to be able to share this publication of mine on the online journal, Muskrat Magazine.
You know the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Our health is directly related to our diets. Of course you can be perfectly healthy and still eat junk food, but honestly — for how long? A year of fast food and high-sugar snacks, low on fresh anything, must lead to a host of problems. Social media is not all that different from our diets. What we consume has a direct impact on our lives. But instead of expanding waistlines and heart disease, social media’s impact is on our mental and spiritual states, rather than on our physical ones.
We even refer to social media in ways that are similar to how we refer to food. We “consume” social media. Our social media accounts have one or more “feeds.” Many people have written about going on a social media diet. What then is the social media version of obesity or of heart disease?
Last week, Duke University’s campus Chapel approved a Muslim student association’s request to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the Chapel’s bell tower. The call to prayer would have been broadcast to the entire campus, at a university founded as a Methodist institution — a proposition that would seem shocking at any American university, much less one founded within the Christian tradition. The university administration, after significant protest, reversed the Chapel’s decision suggesting that it was ill-advised.
At three minutes, the Muslim call to prayer lasts about three times as long as it takes to recite the Our Father, or Lord’s Prayer; it’s also about three times as long as it takes to recite the Hail Mary. The Shema (the Jewish declaration of faith): Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad - Hear Oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One, takes about 15-20 seconds to recite at most.
I am currently an ex-pat (American) living with my husband in Sydney, Australia, a 15-minute walk away from the now-famous Lindt Cafe and Martin Place. People are reeling this week from the terrorist siege that shut the city down the other day and resulted in the deaths of two innocent people. If normal healthy adults are having trouble keeping themselves together emotionally after this very difficult day, it makes me wonder, as I often do, what life must be like for children in war zones. Or veterans with PTSD.
We’ll be fine, but so many will need a lifetime of healing. Please consider supporting an organization to help the most vulnerable and the people who have put their lives on the line to save us all. Merry Christmas to everyone and may you have a Happy New Year.
A couple of ideas: