What a week! Hearing Michelle Alexander speak Wednesday night, Bill McKibben last night. How often do you get to listen to two righteous, profound change agents back-to-back, huh?
But who can bear what these modern-day prophets preach?
* Our supposedly colorblind nation systematically incarcerates men and women of color by the millions; the scope of this 21st century Jim Crow is beyond comprehension—although if you happen to be Black and live in a community eviscerated by this mass round-up of (mostly) men and boys you’re living, breathing what Dr. Alexander preaches.
* Because of carbon emissions, our planet is heating up at an alarming rate, causing unprecedented draughts and floods, hurricanes and alarming weather patterns (shorts in March in New England?) If we don’t do something NOW we’re doomed.
Here’s what I do: I connect the dots. I see the horrors passionately elucidated by Alexander and McKibben and Chomsky and all those who speak out/have spoken out re “this filthy rotten system” as—are you ready?—symptoms. Symptoms of brokenness.
Somehow this construct lets me feel great compassion rather than despair. And allows me to be humble; always a good thing. Because what can I do? Am I going to heal this planet? Am I going to recreate human nature? Will I eliminate greed, fear of Other, how easy it is for my species to rationalize, deny, distract and distance ourselves from what’s really going on?
What I can do is ask Spirit: What am I called to do to heal this broken planet?
What I can do is spend time with others who ask the same thing. Sometimes, like last night, when BMcK said, “When we have ‘a solar spill,’ we call it a sunny day!’ we roar together.
What I can do is “show up,” witness. (It’s truly terrifying how affective a White woman sitting in a courtroom earnestly taking notes can be.)
What I can do is practice mindfulness.
And to praise and be grateful.