Our View: Whatever Your Religious Beliefs, Take Time to Reflect Quietly | Opinion

Religious worshipers around the world use the time leading up to the Easter holiday to reflect on their faith and the deep beliefs they hold about the sacrifices made for them.

While many choose other forms of faith that don’t necessarily involve prayer or pilgrimages, this deep reflection is something we can all benefit from – no matter what or who we believe in.

Some call it mindfulness or meditation. The layman will describe it as a state of consciousness. Others might say it’s just a practical act of gratitude. However one chooses to describe this act of self-care, we could all benefit from making time for peace and quiet in our lives.

Many Guam Catholic devotees and others hike to Mount Jumullong Manglo for the annual Good Friday Hike on April 19, 2019. Left to right: Lena Aguon; Joseph Aguon; Chloe Castro; Christie Pablo; Farren Simbahan and Clarissa Pablo.

There is so much going on in our lives – personally, socially and professionally – that it’s increasingly difficult to remember to stop and take a moment to put things into perspective while trying to juggle the daily pressures of life.

Social media, the news, and the intense connectedness we once cherished as progress has led countless people, especially our youth and young adults, to struggle with their mental health.

Wrap that up with the past two years of COVID-19 closures, school closures, mass shootings, a war in Europe, and constant reports of crimes in our own community, it’s clear that the recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on youth mental health threats sends a message. With 44% of American youth reporting lingering feelings of sadness or hopelessness, we on Guam need to step up our efforts to strengthen the health of our children – mentally, emotionally and physically.

But helping our children grow stronger starts with us – parents, family members, teachers, caregivers and leaders. Are we doing enough to take care of ourselves, our mental health and our personal needs?

As our “seasons” heat up and our island transitions into even busier schedules with students going on summer vacation and graduation parties filling up our free time, now is a good time to do pause and reflect on all we have with a focus on the good.

Easter itself can be religious in nature. But peace and gratitude are universal.

Ruth R. Culp