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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

So, things have been very tumultuous of late. If there really are groups who maintain their power by keeping us so busy attacking “those monstrous others” that we stay blind to common ground on which to build a better future… well, I’d say they’ve been pretty effective.

I don’t think it’ll work long-term, though. Not this time. There are too many of us who have spent years working against the decay and destruction of liberties, livelihoods and lives. This work has been swimming against the tide, as the “mainstream” turned a blind eye and cold shoulder, standing firmly on the side of a White House and politicians who had a (D) after their names. Now that those letters have changed to (R), suddenly thousands to millions are ready to join those marches and pick up those banners.

Yeah, there’s apparently been some focus on making the marching and such strictly as a big protest against an enemy, rather than working together for the common good. But the experienced organizers are already in place, and that experience is in organizing to accomplish specific goals, joining people together for a specific purpose. With so much spotlight and energy being poured into getting people to stand up in opposition, it can only help those who are ready to put those new feet and hands to work.

I’m sure there’s many, many things you’d like to see working out better for your country, and for our world. I’m also sure there’s one in particular that could really use your help, and has a group in your area that’s ready and waiting for you to pitch in. Why not find it?

That better future doesn’t need a big, bold hero to make a difference. It needs hundreds of thousands of humble, small heroes making the difference we can in our own corners of the world. Even if you don’t have much, there’s some part of you yearning to give of itself to building something better. Allow that. Make your difference.

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To quote Amy Howe’s piece, “In historic decision, Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage.”  As someone who has a deep respect and gratitude for all the ways love is expressed in this world, this means a lot to me.

I remember watching the progress of this struggle a few years ago, when cautious voices were asking people to slow down on this issue, and not push the matter too quickly. I understood their fear, that the wrong case would go before the wrong court, and there would be a heavy blow dealt to equality just because people tried to move too fast.

So I don’t mean to say that those who are cautious are cowardly. However, those who stand up in the face of opposition from within and without, driven forward by the pounding in their heart — they most certainly are courageous. I recognized the dangers, as it’s pretty evident what happens to people who buck against long-held “traditions”. But I felt the courageous way was the only way forward.

I sincerely believe that love is the powerful force we need to resolve the obstacles that remain before us. But love alone won’t effect those solutions; we each must do our part to speak and act with love in all the ways we feel moved to do so. It takes courage. It takes patience. It takes kindness for others and with ourselves. But as much as we need love, love needs us to flow through this beautiful world of ours.

Please, keep an ear toward the beating of your own heart, and allow it to guide you along the path it needs to travel with you. It will guide you true, and together you will make your corner of our planet a brighter place to be.

Note: The title of this post is taken from Galifesto. It’s currently available for pre-order; contact me if interested in a review copy.

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I was reading an advice column to somebody who was working with a charity that helped impoverished children, but the charity would make the “showcase kids” eat pizza in the back room after speaking at their charity banquets. The guy said that he felt like they were using the kids for fundraising without really empowering them, and wondered what the advice-givers thought.

In the advice, the columnist brought out a quote that’s apparently popular in the charity/activism circles, but I hadn’t quite heard before:

“If you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time; but if you’ve come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together”

-Lilla Watson, Australian Aboriginal artist/activist

Isn’t that just awesome? There’s this tendency to view a helper/helpee relationship in a kind of hierarchical structure, with one having the power and responsibility, and the other having the obligation and the guilt… and sometimes vice versa. This mucks things up, and gets in the way.

I think it’s far more effective and helpful to BE in a situation with someone and offer yourself, instead of just trying to “manage” their situation from the outside. For a hundred billion reasons, it serves you better, it serves the situation better, and it treats the “helpee” with so much more power and respect. It also lifts the “rescuer” weight off your shoulders, instead empowering you to really and truly help.

I also just love the phrase “liberation” — because really, that’s what it’s all about. The rest is just stuff that happens along the way.

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