Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mourning Politics

The Mystery within . . .
I wished a Native American friend a “Happy Thanksgiving” last week.  She smiled kindly and said, “Thanksgiving is a day of mourning for us.  We give thanks the following Friday.”  And then she invited me to come and join their feast.  My heart, mind and body received her words with grateful clarity and my voice responded, “Oh, I understand.”  The brutal politics of how the United States of America came to be is encapsulated in Native peoples day of mourning.

After the mid-term election results were announced on November 4, I was unable to turn on my television for two days.  I was in mourning and quietly fearful on where our country is heading.  Does not the past brutal formation of this country, and then the decimation of another culture through enslavement, now require remedies?  I am afraid that a powerful political majority will disregard the overwhelming evidence that early childhood programs and quality education for everyone forms the basis for a civil society.  Will the incarcerated know compassion and a chance to start over?  Will the right to vote become more cumbersome, and will more arbitrary lines be drawn to favor one ideology?  Can we justify the ever-growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us under the veil of hard work?  Can collective bargaining ever be restored, and will the minimum wage ever be fair?  Will every human being eventually know the right to good medical care?  Is the environment, and the food we eat, in greater jeopardy of more contamination?  And will women, who hold up half the sky, be treated more fairly?  These are some of the things that make me quietly fearful.

The interviewed guest On-Being this week, Joanna Macy – A Wild Love for the World spoke to my distress.  She suggested we be present and fearless with our pain for it eventually reveals our connectedness and love for the world.  I felt common ground with Macy when she told of her growth through the tyranny of her father and subsequently leaving the dogmatic, patriarchal church in which she was raised.  My journey and healing from tyranny is similar to hers and really began in earnest when I was told to “Be not afraid.”  Through Presence, I encountered the grace of multiple Synchronicities on my everyday path.  I gradually learned how to be true to myself and began to understand how profoundly interconnected we are to everyone and all things. 

A Path Appears:  Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities” is a new book by the same authors of “Half the Sky:  Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” (Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn).  They suggest if we become truly aware of the pain and dysfunction in our world, a path will appear showing how we can be a part of the healing.  I recently listened with keen interest to the audio version of their latest book and their telling of the effectiveness of corporations who take on a humanitarian need as a part of their overall mission.  Corporations have highly skilled people, including effective marketing staff, and can be very successful in promoting and producing needed change in the lives of many.  What would it take to get all of corporate America to take on a humanitarian need as a part of their mission?

What if we all took on a humanitarian need as part of our mission?

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