by Tangerine Bolen on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 10:22am ·
Many of my friends and probably some of my family think that I am too political. Too serious. (I have a wild, goofy streak, don’t worry!:). It’s tiring to always talk about serious things, to see posts again and again that are about some battle we’re in. So, what are we fighting for?
We are fighting to restore decency and sanity to our world. We are working to expose just how much corporations have come to control and shape our lives and destinies. We are fighting to not be slaves to these entities that human beings have created – entities to which we have managed to transfer so much power that individuals, on our own, cannot stand up to them, even as they remake our world, and have too much control over our lives, our hopes, our options. We are fighting to ensure you have rights – such as a 40 hour work week, paid vacation, maternity leave (every other industrialized nation pays for maternity leave – they are pro-family in action, not in words). We are fighting for the right to not be funneled into pre-determined and increasingly shrinking options – the lucky ones ending up lawyers, doctors, or other professionals with a ton of graduate school debt if you’re not fortunate enough to come from a wealthy family that can pay extraordinary tuition fees and cover the cost of living while you are getting a higher education. We are fighting to allow those of you who do choose to become doctors and lawyers to take the path you most believe in, NOT saddled with enormous debt – such as fighting corporate abuses, or working to defend civil liberties against abusive governments, or serving in low-income health clinics, to help people, to do good in the world – and to be able to afford to do so.
We are working for a world where our options are wider, and healthy, and sane, so that, if you are called to be an artist, or a musician, or a social worker or a teacher, or a policeman – you can survive. You can be safe. You can have a roof over your head and even, if you work hard, manage to save. You can put your kids through college with a little scrimping and saving. You can bring beauty into the world, you can remind us of soulfulness, of hope and stillness and wonder, you can help keep the world alive by your presence here – and you can survive, playing these roles of keepers of our society, sharers of beauty, thought-stimulators, sharers of soul.
We are working for a world where human beings manage to overcome our rampant greed, our conditioned competitiveness, our sick addiction to a kind of power that is destroying us. We are working to bring power back to the people, to individuals and their families, so that you, and your children, your loved ones and friends feel as if they have some measure of control over your destinies – some hope to do more than be funneled into those pre-determined slots (unless you’re happy there, and that is fine too). We are working to remind you of how great you are, how much you have to give, how much you have inside of you – things that cannot be bought, sold defined or made small and valueless in a monetized, corporatized world. We are working to restore value to things that do not make money – the things that make humanity great, the things that make the struggle of life, and the fact of death – an end to all of this for each of us – worthwhile. We are working to allow everyone everywhere to have their most basic needs of safety and survival met, so that, beyond that, each of us has the power and ability, if we so choose, to rise up inside of ourselves and be everything we hope to be, everything we dream, (or at least a good measure of it) while we are here, for such a short time, on this exquisitely beautiful planet, so that when we do die, we can die knowing that we lived. We lived, fully. We lived, whole.
We are working to save this planet from a collective sickness that is destroying it – and far more quickly than most of you would like to admit (because it requires radical change of all of us). We are working to turn humanity away from rapacious consumption of resources, to fundamentally change the predominant economic system – capitalism – which is based on several, majorly false premises – and to restore sanity to this equation. The world is not made of constant, incessant growth. Only cancer tumors and unchecked algae are. The world is made of an ebb and flow, life and death, growth and recession – a tide that defines everything, except our sick, sick form of monetary exchange – a system that, while it has shown some benefits, has become a monster that is eating us all alive, destroying this planet, and destroying any chance you or your children have at autonomy, at shaping a meaningful destiny.
This is a great reminder of what drives those of us who work for change: http://vimeo.com/22439234
We are working to restore hope and wonder to our world. To be reminded of our small place in an incredible universe. To be reminded that we are meant to do better than what we are doing, to be bigger than who we’ve collectively become, to move forward, reaching for what is highest in each of us, together and alone. We are made of the dust of stars and between buildings and politics and bills and wars and hate we have forgotten that of which we are made.Why do we fight to right our world? We want to live, to be fully and completely alive. And we want you to be fully and completely alive too. And this requires of all of us that we restore justice to our systems, that we refuse – absolutely refuse – to be small. That we rise up. That we reach for individual and collective integrity, possibly as we’ve never, ever done as a species before. That we make small choices, every single day, while we face such broken systems, that change those systems in small ways. By BEING better. By choosing to be so. By not judging others, by being compassionate and honest and authentic – in every way you can, little by little, as we fundamentally undermine and remake broken systems to reflect what is greatest in us. Not overnight. But step by step by step, we overcome the collective darkness we’ve made, we overcome the sense of having to claw your way to the top, we overcome turning our backs on the great devastation that deeply sick powers are wreaking on our world. Little by little, in every way that each of us can, by the choices you make, by where you put your attention, by WHO you choose to be – your presence here – together we reach for something higher, we honor what is best and brightest in all of us.
Together, we must remake ourselves, and our world. And we ask all of you to honor those who work so hard on your behalf, risking and sacrificing so much to stand up to systems that insist on enslaving us, so that we can help to restore rightness and good and sanity and justice and hope to this world. We ask you to understand this. Activists become marginalized in part because humanity itself does not wish to have to truly change, to truly rise above our systems, our religions, our politics, our addictions, and so, people who are working so hard to do this are relegated to the margins. And it is time to restore honor to this arena, to recognize the value of those who work so tirelessly on your behalf to right our world. No one is perfect. We are all fallible. We are all human. We are all in this together. We ALL have to work harder, no matter where we are in life. And I encourage you to decide to reach for something higher and to, in your daily lives, make choices that help pave the way for a paradigm shift for humanity. Because we can do better than this. We ARE better than this. We are made of stars and dust and light and blood and bones and hope and skin. We are made of spirit and soul and all the dreams we are capable of dreaming in between. And I want to dream bigger than this. I want to dream a dream with you that begins to take shape as we are alive. I want to see our hope, our determination, our reason and tolerance and compassion and understanding of harmony with this planet to become a tide that sweeps across nations and cultures and religions and all divides so that we see the unbreakable bonds that bind us in our struggle for survival, in our hopes for more than just surviving while we are alive. I believe that we can do this, and I ask everyone to believe with me.
Together we make each other stronger, and together we WILL remake our world.