I know these are troubled times and there is an air of despair all around. Indeed I am feeling the heaviness of the immense suffering surrounding me. But I’m feeling a spirit of rejuvenation and rejoicing as well. People are finally waking up. Donald Trump is one of a rare breed of people who has the power to alienate such a wide swath of people that he could bring us together like few others could.
I am very encouraged that, in the shock and dismay of the election results, people’s first inclinations were to come together. This is exactly what we’ve been needing, where we’ve been stuck—to come out of isolation. Because we are beginning to recognize our true relationship to one another—and that is our interdependence. We will find a way to rise together or we will fall together. We have been trying to avoid surrendering to that lesson, but we have now boxed ourselves in: we have boarded the roller coaster to transformation whether we like it or not.
The great news is that we like it—and a lot! The cracks in the foundation are purposeful because this house was not built on solid ground. And this is our opportunity to step into something better. You see, we have been spending all our energy trying to convince authority figures to create it for us, completely forgetting that we are meant to create it ourselves. We don’t need to wait for permission—or convince people in power to care about the same things we do. That’s never going to happen and, by trying to convince them, we are giving them our own power.
What we need to do instead is turn to one another—to create horizontal communities committed to taking care of human well-being. This is what everyone I know wants— to live in a world of kindness and balance where the well-being of all is prioritized. And the dangers we are facing as a result of this election are allowing us to practice our commitment to the well-being of all. And I would say we are actually doing a surprisingly good job of standing up for one another.
I’ve been doing visioning circles with folks recently, the kind of work I’ve been doing with my students for years, and what I’ve been continually struck by—and have heard from others who have been engaged in this work for many years—is the similarities in the vision we have of the world we want to live in. One in which we are connected to our natural environment and to one another, where intergenerational and multicultural connection is the norm.
What has been driving my decision-making lately is asking myself is this action/attitude consistent with the world that I want to live in—because I’m going to act like that’s the world I’m living in now because by doing that, I help to create that world.