In my posts here I’ve repeatedly voiced my belief that:
- the current chaos is the emergence of Humanity’s long-suppressed wounds that are ready to be healed (like racism and intolerance of all types), and that
- Humanity is absolutely up to the task of healing these wounds and creating a global New Paradigm.
And several times, I’ve posed these critical questions:
Who do we want to be as a nation?
Who do we want to be as Humanity?
Part of this is the process of refining democracy—what Abraham Lincoln referred to as the “last best hope of earth.” Serendipitously I recently came across an article about Eric Liu—activist, author (including “You Are More Powerful Than You Think”), “evangelist for democracy,” and CEO/co-founder of the non-profit Citizen University that teaches about cultivating civic power.
The article1 states that “. . . where some see chaos, Liu sees vitality,” and that Liu believes “America’s tumultuous climate is not a weakness but a strength.” For me, the most powerful part of the article is a quote from Liu himself:
“What we are doing is hard because it is unprecedented. We are trying to be planet Earth’s first multiracial, multicultural, and multi faith democratic republic at scale. That hasn’t existed before.”
Wow. So how do we do what “hasn’t existed before”?
Liu states that “American history is a record of small groups of people who keep remaking this country. . . .” Thus he suggests:
“. . . yes, vote, read the news, pay attention—but the most important thing you can do is join a club. Join a group, and build that muscle of being in association with other people. . . . get involved with other people in trying to make something happen for some common purpose—it could be a civic purpose, it could be a hobby like building a book club. . . .”
So yet again it comes down to Connection as I’ve so often discussed here.2
Concerning “civic purpose” groups, there certainly are A LOT of them to choose from—A LOT of people are working to promote a better version of our nations and Humanity. And I posit that there are more of these people—more peacemakers and earth stewards, more BLM and Women’s March peaceful protestors, more LGBTQIA+ and same-sex marriage supporters, more gun safety supporters, more reproductive freedom supporters, more climate change believers, etc.—than there are of the other “tribe.” The latter just gets more attention in the news. Maybe it’s time for all the former to join forces as one and present a unified front.
But still, right now, what specifically can each of us do to foster Connection and do what “hasn’t existed before”? In the recent Independence Hall presidential speech entitled “The Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation,”3 there weren’t any specific suggestions. But maybe that’s because each of us needs to take responsibility to figure that out for ourselves—to listen to our inner-knowing and identify exactly what our particular contribution can be. And then do it.
But if you want some suggestions, the following is a revised, previously-posted list. I urge you to read it with fresh eyes . . .
(Consider doing something “outside the box” for you—something that may be a stretch and even a bit uncomfortable. Maybe do several things, and do them on an ongoing basis.)
Take action within the system:
* JOIN A GROUP OR CLUB! Interact with other people to achieve a common goal.
* Volunteer to be an election worker.
* Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
* Participate in a GOTV (Get Out the Vote) project—a letter or postcard writing project like Blue Wave Postcard Movement, Postcards to Voters, Postcards to Swing States, and many others. (Data shows this works. And these groups make it easy—even fun—to do.)
* Volunteer or make a donation to an organization that’s “fighting the good fight”—find one that aligns with your values and interests.
* Get out there physically—participate in a (peaceful) protest.
Do an act of kindness or beauty (post this list someplace prominent and select and do something every day, every week, every whatever):
* buy coffee or pay for the groceries of the person behind you in line
* pay for someone’s meal in a restaurant
* give a favorite book to a friend
* donate toys to a homeless shelter or safe house
* donate food to a food bank
* make a list of what you appreciate about somebody—and give it to them
* make someone laugh
* compliment a stranger
* reconnect with an old friend
* send a letter or email to someone you admire
* donate to a charity
* send a gift, flowers, or a gift card to someone for no reason
* send a card or letter to a family member or friend
* make that $1, $2, or $x donation at the grocery store or other checkout
* wave to someone as you drive in your neighborhood
* smile and say Hi to a stranger
* smile and be extra nice to salespeople, restaurant staff, etc.
* do an action related to your “domain of interest” and skills
[NOTE: As always, please exercise some discretion and care: be authentic and appropriate in your actions with other people.]
Take action on the spiritual/energetic level:
* Send Light (or say prayers) especially to/for those who are perpetrating the attacks on democracy, Humanity, and the planet.
* Do things that bring you joy, thus increasing positive energy to counteract the negative.
So what of the above list can YOU do? As I previously wrote:
Do any or all of it.
Start somewhere, anywhere.
Do something, anything—large or small.
Do whatever you can, however you can, whenever you can.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. As I’ve repeatedly said:
There’s no one person,
no one political party or organization,
no one corporate or business entity, group or non-profit,
or even any ETs who are going to do this for us.
It’s up to us. All of us. As Liu says:
“Democracy is not what governments do; it’s what people do.”
”May you live in interesting times” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese curse. But I think it’s actually a HUGE opportunity we have right now: to shape the entire future course of Humanity and the planet—for the better.
So what are YOU going to do to leave your mark on history?
P.S. (Because I always have more to say!🤪) Not convinced about “wounds being revealed—to be healed”? And that healing is beginning to happen? I suggest you view the news through a particular lense . . .
Rather than just seeing, e.g., political “dirty tricks” and partisan posturing, and national/global repressive and violent happenings, instead observe how these happenings are exposing the perpetrator(s) to the “light” (and Light) so they’re seen for who and what they are. And observe how many of them are being held accountable—in courtrooms or the “courtroom of public opinion,” and/or by losing jobs and positions of responsibility. Not all of them—yet. But I firmly believe, as Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Likewise, note the many people trying to do something about the world’s ills, like the courageous Iranian women risking their lives by burning their head scarves in protest, and how individuals and groups are creatively sidestepping draconian reproductive health/freedom laws and book bans. And note the preponderance of times over the last few years that the U.S. judicial system and other institutions have held—often due to just one person holding the line.
Please don’t discount the good by just focusing on the bad. There IS good happening. Yes, there’s more to be done. But we’re working on it.
1 “You are more powerful than you think. Why one man says it’s too soon to write off democracy in America”—interview with Eric Liu posted on the CNN website.
3 “Remarks by President Biden on the Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation” delivered September 1, 2022.