My emotional reaction to these events is twofold: (1) I get discouraged and retreat into my private world; or (2) I get angry and caught up in political wrangling. Neither reaction strikes me as appropriate or good. Somehow I need to (1) stay engaged (2) without falling into bitter cynicism or partisan hostility.
The Christian tradition has much-needed wisdom to offer on this point. In his own ministry, Jesus went out into the world teaching and healing as needed. And Jesus retreated for times of prayer, sometimes alone and sometimes with his closest followers. What I need to find is my own rhythm of activity in the world on the one hand and disciplined spiritual practice on the other.
Activism without a spiritual grounding can easily become bitter and uncompromising. Spiritual practices that are not balanced by action in the world can easily become irrelevant and escapist. Together, the two make it possible for us to stay engaged and to stay grounded at the same time.
Personally I tend more towards spiritual practice, so my challenge is to stay engaged in the broader world. But as part of my contribution, I hope to encourage others to develop a spiritual practice if they do not already have one. We all need to stay grounded, to stay connected to God, as we do whatever it is that we do. How else can we keep going?