Where Will You Put Your Fight?
It has been a hard month. Many of us have felt that support for our basic human values has taken a huge hit. Equal treatment for all, compassion over aggression, civil discourse, respect, and honesty are not political issues. I unapologetically reaffirm my commitment to these principles, and encourage you to do likewise, irrespective of where you stand on the political spectrum. Let us join together in our efforts to uphold these ideals that benefit all of us. Many have come to me these past weeks, expressing feelings of helplessness, frustration, and despair. My message to you is that far from helpless, we are all profoundly powerful. Within the sphere of your own life, you wield tremendous influence.
A potent form of activism is to behave in the manner that matches your ideals, first of all in how you treat yourself. Working to suspend your inner critic, leaning toward kindness and away from shame, and suspending judgement is the first battle front. Then comes how you treat those closest to you — your partner, children, and family. Bring to them the most exuberant expressions of love you can muster. Give them the precious gifts of your attention and time. Let them know how much you value them. Widening the circle to friends, colleagues, teachers, and students, we can show our willingness to be vulnerable, to engage, to listen, and compromise. Finally, toward the strangers we meet every day, we can show tolerance, forbearance, and generosity, striving to be helpful, and give each person the benefit of the doubt. Anyone able to act in this way in these four circles will have influence reaching far beyond themselves.
If this level of involvement does not meet your needs, or you are itching for a place to fight, pick an issue or an organization you feel passionately about, and go volunteer for them. Search for groups, local or national, where you can find like minded people. One way or another, Get Involved. As many outbreaks of hatefulness and violence as we have seen these past weeks, there have been an equal number of humanitarian acts. Everywhere, groups are bonding together to protect the vulnerable and work to set wrongs right. Do not crumble into despondency, stand up and act on what you believe. You will find that you are not alone. Others are standing waiting for you to join them.