Each day I reach into a little bag with a hundred bits of paper, each with a name scrawled on it.
I pick out two.
I say a quick prayer for those two people.
Nothing dramatic, the usual shit — health, love, sense of purpose, happiness, laughter. All the same stuff I would want for myself.
And that’s it. I get on with the day.
I started doing this a few months ago as part of a fledgling effort to start exploring faith again after a 45-year hiatus. (Yes, I stopped believing in God when I started rooting for the Washington Capitals.)
Whether my prayers are heard or answered is immaterial. I just look forward to the moment each morning. It’s fun to see which names pop up.
It’s fun to think about people I may not have seen or talked to in a while.
Why am I telling you this?
I’m not saying you should do this ritual yourself.
I’m also not saying, “Look at freaking St. Kit over here, all praying for people and whatnot.”
I’m just reporting the small, but pleasant fact that this action, which takes one minute, changes my mood as I move on with the day.
Now you may say, Dude. What’s with the elephant?
I haven’t converted to Hinduism or Buddhism, or Jainism (although on paper at least, the Jainist program looks pretty good). I just like mini-Ganesha as an object. Has good heft to it.
Same with the other items in the photo — no particular significance, just objects I like to hold or look at.
Another question you might ask: Will you put my name in the pile?
Again, great question. (You’re on fire today!)
I once read about a woman who pours out and prays over 7 billion grains of sand every day, for the whole world.
I have questions about the feasibility of measuring out — like even approximately — 7 billion grains of sand. But I’m nonetheless moved by the example of sand lady. (Or was it salt? I can’t remember.)
Reading about her put the idea in my head — Hey, I can make up my own damn ritual.
Seven billion feels like a lot, but two names per day … yeah I can do that.
Sure, send me your name if you feel like it.