Here are some words that come to mind as we move into this year:
May we insist on loving truth, from everyone from our ourselves up through the administration of the United States government.
May we, in part through the continued development and use of green energy and building, protect our land, sea, and air for future generations of plants, animals, and people.
May we be courageous and know, somehow, that there is a niche for each of us, a place where our actions make differences. And may we be spurred on to greater risks and experiments, in the service of a just, sustainable, verdant, and loving world.
I am afraid right now. For our nation, for its soul, and of the souls of each of us.
From my brother and our fellow comrade this past week:
“As of this year,
DOD will be run by a former senior Boeing executive.
EPA is run by a former coal lobbyist.
HHS is run by a former pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Interior will be run by a former oil-industry lobbyist.
Education is run by a for-profit school advocate.”
Do you see the problems here?
I feel genuinely afraid, the longer this Federal administration is in power in the United States. I feel genuinely afraid.
I feel afraid because of the progression that happens in Fascist states. Yes, for example, like Nazi Germany. First, the majority of the people are lulled into apathy and ignorance of violence and corruption in the state by the classic “bread and circuses” of Ancient Rome. In the case of the United States, I believe bread and circuses, (which you could also call “fiddling as the Titanic sank”) come down to the overwhelming and entertaining consumerism in which we live.
Look at what we’ve seen lately from our President. According to the AP fact check page, (https://www.apnews.com/7f05724cb4f14db7862242e0a62c608d), President Trump is consistently lying to the American people and the world about essential issues of both domestic and foreign policy.
After apathy and ignorance comes complicity. We cause our seeming small but damaging harm by turning our eyes away, by not interrupting harm where we see it.
And eventually, of course, comes action on behalf of a Fascist state. People–people who would think of themselves and their friends and family as good people, innocuous in the scheme of things–become active parts of an amoral, even immoral machine that destroys essential natural environments and species, the health of the people (and those first two ofen come together), the economy (despite claims to the contrary), and the soul of the nation.
I am afraid.
We build our little corner of the world, The Way of the River community, and I know that there are several, even many of you, who out there doing some great work. Work on “the outside.” Ellen, Peter, John, and Jessica, you all come immediately to mind.
And I hope that the work we do together–sharing the stories of our lives, working on a sense of centeredness from which to be and act, working in our own small ways for liberation–I hope this work matters.
I believe it does. But sometimes I am afraid. Sometimes I am just afraid that it’s not enough. That the legacy we leave to my nephews, to all our descendants (may they be mighty and just and loving) will be a nightmare.
I’m just afraid. And today, I don’t have a whole lot of hope to give. I have my bywords of gentle persistence, though, and I offer them to you as we move more full into 2019. They’ve gotten me through every transition, every difficult time, every necessary change in my life. They can help us now. Gentle, not by letting ourselves “off the hook,” but by heading bit by bit, chip by chip in the direction of the world we dream about.
Gentle, consistent, courageous persistence. May we never give up, never, ever give up.
Blessings of courage and strength for us all–
PS — Making Hard Choices is Back!
Last August, a group of us had a wonderful time in our month-long course, Making Hard Choices: The Art of Discernment. This coming February–yes this very next month!–we will begin again. Only the new students in this class will also have the benefit of the wisdom and experience of those who went through the class in August! Not only that, we’ll have Facebook Live “office hours” twice weekly instead of once, and everyone will have the opportunity to sign up for a discounted meeting with me at any time during the course. Go ahead over to the information page for more about how you can learn to move through transitions with grace, to work hard and find the right questions, to learn to attend to what your life is telling you, and to grow the faith in yourself that leads to a solid, wholehearted life!