This week has been a tough one. There’s no way of getting around it. Trump’s list of inhumane and repressive executive orders upon his inauguration has grown at a freakishly rapid rate. From banning refugees from majority Muslim nations to attempting to silence experts in clunate change research, the threats right now on our democratic freedoms are real and terrifying.
Our country is often only hearing and seeing stories that remind us of the divisiveness, bigotry and violence that surrounds ourselves, our communities and our world. What would happen if we realized the full power we hold in our hands even in the face of repression? The power to make change possible, small changes, through spreading stories of courage, of hope and inspiration in the midst of our struggle for justice and freedom for all? What if we illuminated the momentum to work together for the common good every day in our lives? What if we decided every day to think of those who have suffered and sacrificed greatly to set our country one step forward, and think of how we could do likewise? What if we dedicated ourselves to find moments of silence daily through meditation or prayer to cultivate a deeper inner strength and purpose? What would we be able to accomplish together if we committed ourselves to a contemplative activism, rooted and grounded in the belief that change will come?
Small shifts like these in our daily thought process can be hard to do on our own, so I offer you this: a contuinued effort on my part to bring you inspiring stories about ideas, places and people and ways to cultivate inner silence and stillness. Weekly, I hope to share with you stories of inspiration in the struggle, because we all could use it!
Now, I want to clarify something very important: in seeking out the beauty and brilliance around us, I am definitely not attempting to deny the reality of ignorance, of anger or hatred or any of the very real pain we are feeling right now as a nation. And, I cannot speak for everyone. I realize that some people are okay with the direction this country is heading under the Trump administration; however, for the vast majority of U.S. Americans, we feel the tension, the anxiety, even the despair and outrage, of having leaders in place who do not truly represent who we are or what we believe in.
So, we need to stand together and remember we are not defined by decisions the government makes; we are defined by the decisions we make to stand up for what we believe in at the places we work, worship and live. After all, we the people, is what democracy is all about. Together we can choose to be:
Critical thinkers. Artists. Good role-models. Story tellers. Community builders. Educated consumers. Compassionate leaders. Entrepreneurs of hope. Responsible citizens. Institgators of good. Bearers of Hope.
May you know that we the people shape the future every day. May you have the courage to live this out no matter the cost. And, may you know that you are not alone in this struggle for a more just Union.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”–Mahatma Gandhi