Education, Politics — November 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm

We cannot become the Walking Dead

by

Since the post-election apocalypse, I have noticed a definitive shift in in the way people are communicating, talking, and thinking. There is a deeper and more pronounced urgency for some, an urgency that I find both impactful and also curious. I have been here before; I have been at this place after a sound beating down where people find themselves in constant thought, wonderment, dismay and disbelief. I understand this all too well and I am certain that something good can and will come from this moment of pause, if you will.

There are moments in all of our lives where we are tested. Moments, forced upon us through the mere passing of time, that present opportunity and present to us an occasion to either change the methods by which we live our lives or, perhaps, present to us with greater clarity the new choices and directions for each of us.

We Are The People MichiganIn the aftermath of a sound beating, our transgressions, trepidations, triumphs, and transcendence become somehow more transparent. The deep thoughts I mention are quite real and in some ways disturbing. But they can be empowering if we allow it and, in the absence of real plan of action, the way we process all of this sets us off on a course of action (even inaction) and becomes a choice; for many the only choice.

I am writing this today because over the course of the past few weeks I have heard from hundreds of people, I have watched with great interest on social media, and I have met with people who were once bystanders but now seek a greater course in wanting to be change, real change. I have had marvelous interactions with people that have an inner burning that they can’t identify, but they know it is there. I have corresponded and talked to many people who feel a sense of calling that was nonexistent before but now is a budding desire to mark a new direction. In many ways, this has become a kind of spiritual journey for some and, because they have never experienced this need to be active before, they don’t understand it or how to direct it. That’s fine. As time and talent find a way to manifest and in the part of the journey from where you are now to where you want to be, it will be the people and the causes that will help you to find and fulfill those desires for proactive and positive change, mark my words.

In the aftermath of my last writing here on “The cure for the common cause” I oddly did not receive one negative comment, not a one. What I did receive were a myriad of questions and inquires on how to move from thought to action. What to join and who to join. How to do this and how to do that. It was all presented with both a real sense of wanting and also a real sense of fear. Why fear? Because many of us, including me, don’t want to lose over and over again, do we?

I do feel a real and measurable sense that society is moving in a new direction. I do believe that more and more people are becoming more aware of their surroundings and that, like any life that is lived, a cumulative effect begins to form new attitudes and ideas; new questions and answers. As we begin to question the way things were and look forward to the way they need to be or the way we want them to be, I do so desperately want to believe that there is an awakening in our society of people who find themselves seeing time passing and realizing that if they are to make a difference, that time is now. I am glad they have arrived and happier still that they are opening up to the reality that our opinions are less important than our actions. I see this clearly, but the challenge remains an age-old challenge. How do we keep people engaged and empowered weeks and months after a sound beating?

Only you have that answer, and that answer is something you have to live with.

I am by no means the perfect activist or advocate and I have been on fire for issues over the course of my adult life many times. I also began to see with greater clarity that I kept diluting my impact by taking on every issue that came my way for fear of someone interpreting my inaction or lack of involvement as somehow a slap to them. In the end, I didn’t serve them or myself, let alone the cause, any justice, and that had to stop.

Prioritizing is the advice I am now doling out. As I shared last time, I am focused on Public Education and women’s rights, among two other issues that I have yet to divulge, but will soon. Now it’s your turn to prioritize your causes and set yourself on a course for change. You can do it but let me make one clear comment here that will save you a great deal of time, wasted energy and disappointment. Do not support and involve yourself in anything where the only goal is to ”win”, whatever winning is. Do it with a pure heart and with the goal of creating avenues for alternatives, changes, awareness, education and honor in your beliefs. Get involved at whatever level you feel comfortable with, but get involved because it is something you sincerely want and not because you are giving in to some kind of activist peer pressure. That does exist, I assure you.

For those of you who have reached out to me, and I have answered every single e-mail and message, I ask that you prioritize now, make a personal game plan, be honest with your time, and get going. There is no time to waste, and instead of taking on all causes, you will find that by paring down that list you will do much more good than you thought possible.

I will do my best to help keep all of us motivated, but you have to decide what you are going to embrace and then embrace it. Period. So many of you have written me confused and unsure of why you feel the way you do. The good news is you feel the way you do because you care, and that is never a bad thing.

Let me close by sharing a simple and profound discovery I made in my own personal journey. I made a choice many years ago that I would not look back at my activism and have regret for my actions. That meant that I would commit and do my very best, win or lose. I live by that creed today and, although I have had some wins and many loses, I have also had life altering experiences and have met some of the finest people I will ever know. That is something money can’t buy. By planting a seed, great things grow, and I, for one, refuse to be the walking dead. Hold on to what you feel right now and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You may just be surprised how your life changes for the better. And, if there is something I can do to assist you in that part of your journey, let me know at [email protected] or by calling me at 313-820-6432.

Quantcast
Quantcast