I just returned from a morning meditation session. A takeaway of mine was in order to do good, we must create a head space that causes us to seek to bring good to leave every being we come across better off than when we met them… So I deleted the rant I wrote…instead will share this:
From Susan Sontag via Brainpickings:
“Fear binds people together. And fear disperses them. Courage inspires communities: the courage of an example — for courage is as contagious as fear. But courage, certain kinds of courage, can also isolate the brave…
[and on] the perennial destiny of principles: while everyone professes to have them, they are likely to be sacrificed when they become inconveniencing. Generally a moral principle is something that puts one at variance with accepted practice. And that variance has consequences, sometimes unpleasant consequences, as the community takes its revenge on those who challenge its contradictions — who want a society actually to uphold the principles it professes to defend…”
We must rise. We must not be complacent, not anymore.
One week ago much of the nation was sent into a tail spin, I know I was. Many of us crumbled in fear under this outcome; fear for ourselves, fear for fellow human beings, fear for the planet. It’s all here and it’s all very real.
The process of dealing with this has been compared to that of grieving, but I challenge that with the fact that grieving suggests we normalize this and move forward with our personal lives. And this is not normal. It would be wrong to tell ourselves it will work out and move on with life as usual. We must act.
From Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Children’s Defense Fund:
“We have work to do, and for the sake of our children and our families and our country, I ask you to stay engaged, stay engaged on every level. We need you. America needs you, your energy, your ambition, your talent. That is how we get through this.”
Last Thursday I arrived at some combination of a vigil-rally-protest, carrying with me a candle along with my preconceived notions about what it would be like. As I approached the meeting point I became nervous; There’s something bizarre about coming upon rows of armed officers and realizing they’re there for you. But once I arrived at the event itself that faded away. We all showed up, there for each other and the fight ahead. Solidarity. That, I’d argue, is one of the most important things at the moment. I yelled out with the rest denouncing hate and violence and celebrating our vows to love and protect each other, no matter what comes our way. I was humbled by a brave woman standing in front of thousands saying what we all needed to hear Yes, this is a nightmare… but it’s time to wake up. And yes, tears rolled down my face as I marched behind a mother carrying her newborn baby in her arms in a sea of protesters; because of the beauty of the moment and also because of my own fears about what this change in regime means for the next generation.
We must resist the temptation to be armchair activists in our safe social networks and instead stand tall in the movement. Over the past week I’ve listened to way too many interviews and show hosts answer the question ringing in our ears–What the fuck do we do now?–Their responses were all similar:
– Read news reports from reliable sources and stay abreast of what is happening. This way, you will be prepared to act when the need arises.
-Stay connected to communities of people and issues under attack in any way you can, including by volunteering at organizations who need help or donating any amount of money you can.
-Show up. Stand in solidarity. Love each other, support each other, and defend each other against hate, no matter what.
It is way too easy to fall back into complacency and simply look past what is really going on…especially in the face of a “leader” who is completely unpredictable. But one thing is certain: There is a real fight ahead to protect the welfare and rights of the people in this country as well as our one precious Earth. Yes, this is scary. Yes, it’s far easier to simply accept what is happening in favor of protecting your heart. But that is not an option, not for the many, many people being targeted and attacked and not for any of their fellow Americans, either, who must show up for them. We are in this together.