Lori Kochasnski, ELCA Pastor and Spiritual Director in Pennsylvania
At one of the events today, I was reminded that if I just take a kernel of my new understanding about the need to work toward gender equality and other goals of justice that is enough to begin implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A a kernel may not seem like that much, until it is stuck under your sock, inside your shoe on a 5 mile hike.
The first event I wandered into today was called, “Happiness and Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation, and one of the gift mantras practiced is, “May you be happy.” When feeling particularly bad about humanity, I try and practice this exercise by silently offering this happiness to anyone I encounter. This means I offer it to the annoying person on the other end of the phone, the kind woman who held the door for me at the tea shop, and the people I love. I was curious to hear how happiness and this spiritual practice connect to gender equality.
During the session, one of the most important acknowledgements of the challenges to “happy” came, when in answer to a question one of the panelists, Jennifer Olmsted, admitted that, “There are places where happiness is difficult…if you have an empty belly you have a more difficult time choosing happy.” Dr. Olmsted was not saying it was impossible, only more difficult. Sitting there with a belly full of breakfast, I was left wondering why don’t I choose “happy” more often. Continue reading “Kernel of Justice in my Shoe”