IAmNotBritish, episode thirty-one
Happy Brunch Sunday! Let's raise our mimosas or mugs and clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in your inbox. Written with a London accent in my head. Of course, reading with an accent is completely your (next best) decision. I have a GRAND motivation to make the world a better place for people who grew up like I did. I would really love to effect change so that no child goes to bed hungry, or has to wear clothes and shoes that don't fit. I'd love to see SOLUTIONS and systems for young children who are attempting virtual elementary school at home on the computer, while their single parent must leave to go to work. In my mind, there is a pasture with a fence, dividing humanity: those who care enough to try to effect change, and those who care but don't see the connection between what they do and how it affects those children. It's a judgement I make often, and I realize it is completely UNFAIR. I sometimes want to stand on the tallest box I can find, with confidence, and ADVOCATE, though I know I cannot change another's thought bubble. I stood in my kitchen yesterday, asking myself WHY I really wanted to argue. The deeper answer came--I want others to understand what it was like for me to be hungry as a child, but also if they understood me, and loved me, they would take actions to change things. Huh. But I really don't. How can I want more people to suffer so they know what it was like? I don't want that at all. Quite the opposite. That urge to argue, to say, "BUT...!" is really just an urge to be loved. How irrational. Silly mind.
"How wonderful it is nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~Anne Frank
I get emotional when I think of Anne Frank, don't you? Such a well-known story of suffering and human hope. Her words had hope, I mean, while her suffering increased...until she died.
I suppose I think of the suffering often but through the influence of others, I have somehow maintained a plentiful hope.
I do hope that something will change to erase the suffering. That genocides--and PRE-GENOCIDAL BEHAVIORS, will cease to exist.
That people will wake up one day with a loving general consciousness.
At the same time, I am grateful for my life, for the things I see because of the discomfort, pain, loneliness, and deep sadness. It has been my teacher.
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." RUMI
A wise friend pointed out that instead of trying to persuade or defend my own thinking, I could simply find a way to improve things, even for one person.
What if this kitchen moment of discovering my WHY for wanting to stand and protest leads me to be quiet and allows another to NOT get offended, and potentially come to their own rising of thought? If I argue, the chances of their change is diminished. If I am an example of love and peace and charity--in all things, they may still consider me sane enough to observe.
OR... if I am silent, they may think I agree, and feel justified and the suffering grows.
I want to be an influence for change, for less suffering. So I will begin by being kind and loving to people, even when I want to defend my position.
To be clear, I advocate for those who are pushed aside or squashed by an unquenchable desire and a sad ignorance.
If and when this is truly how I think, my actions will show this.
And the opinions of others will not matter to me?
I think the big difference is in my own mind. If I am standing to speak, in order to shut someone else up, or influence them, perhaps I should close my mouth. If I am standing to be an added voice and purely to defend those who suffer at the hands of others (is there any other kind?) and can back up my words with little daily actions, then it's cool.
One is reactionary. The other a deliberate, intentional life decision.
Today's Deep Breath: (Here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.)
Are you geared up for 9 weeks of polarizing crap-slinging?
It's coming, whether you pay attention to politics or not. Even if you don't watch the "news" or check Twitter weekly to see what is trending, it will come to you. People will talk about the latest drama and you will hear their version of it, instead of making up your own mind.
Friday at 10 pm my time, Chadwick Boseman died of cancer--did you hear? I knew within an hour.
It will come to you.
Let's decide ahead of time how we will receive the information, and from which filter. Then we can go forth and practice ahead of time. The forecasts for this election are dramatic. How much drama do you want to entertain? Do you want to advocate for a local or national candidate? How much time do you want to give, if any?
What issues matter to you the most, the ones that tug at your soul and create the most passion?
Is there anyone not just advocating for that same thing, but taking action?
In the past, I have watched debates with energy, like a tennis match whose results were world-changing.
I think this fall, I will check an individual's website and READ what their campaign has written on where they stand, as well as look at the OBJECTIVE histories to see their actions. That's how I'll make my decision.
Until then, I will not pay attention to their million dollar ads or public song and dance.
Their arena is not reality. Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are no longer individual or family-owned. Stockholders own all the networks. 15 billionaires and 6 corporations own most of U.S. media. They run the money-sponsored circus for the next 9 weeks, including debates and town halls and the audience members allowed in the seats.
Brace yourselves. Think ahead.
I have a solid wish for peace for us all.
Until next time,