The only way to achieve a society where individuals are truly allowed to be seen for themselves is to finally fully acknowledge just how deeply our existing mental models and institutions fail in this regard.
Is it possible that the most effective way to bring about the respectful and caring behavior we so want is to tolerate behaviors that we find deeply intolerant and intolerable?
Let us first and foremost be open to possibility. Because the future we want and need is one that has not yet been fully imagined.
What depths of wisdom, peace, and purpose can I activate simply by becoming more aware of who I already am, understanding my core essence, and living it as deeply as I can every day?
Coexist! Is the best we can strive for? Is this really such an inspiring rally cry for progressives around the world? Is the best we can do simply to tolerate one another?
Young people, you have more power than you think. Please keep dreaming up a world that makes older generations afraid, nervous, and confused. Please keep dreaming up a world that most of us don’t believe is possible.
By simply being more willing and able to be honest with myself, to let myself be my own teacher, to absorb and embrace the truths that are already within me, but which are inconvenient – doorways are opening up left and right.
When you go slow, you go far.
In a solemn moment of honesty with yourself, do you feel that you are in right relationship with yourself, your family, your community, your planet, the universe? For me, there is no real goodness apart from our own honest answers to ourselves.
I will never resolve this sense of dread by accomplishing anything in the external world. I can only resolve it by reckoning within myself, by consciously rewriting the rules I’ve taken on unconsciously.
Perhaps sometimes the most productive thing we can do is to make chaos from order, to tear apart at the worn, outdated fabric of modern life, so that we might weave a new, more beautiful tapestry from the loose thread.
I am beginning to realize, trying to be original is the least original thing I can do. It is doing what nearly everyone does, tie themselves up in knots over me, me, me; obsess over how I can be revered, remembered, seen.
If we wanted, we could imagine the noblest good as expanding our “sphere of concern” to the widest, most far-reaching good we can conceive. We could choose to identify primarily not with ourselves as individuals, but rather as humanity itself, as life itself.
Where we most do not want to go is where we can most activate our highest selves and most contribute to those around us.
How do we take care of ourselves such that we are most able to take care of others? How do serve our communities in such a way that feeds our souls and fills us up to the brim?
Purpose work asks us: How much sacrifice, pain, and discomfort am I willing to endure in order to activate my higher self, to produce my greatest good in service to my community?
The change we want and need is happening – right now. We prove it to ourselves every time we find ourselves and others in the grips of outrage.
How do we come to hear genuine dog whistles without imagining false ones?
Is the left truly committed to compassion and inclusiveness as core values? Or, rather, is it committed to sympathy and inclusion for the specific types of people whom its deem worthy of them?
The racism that is most critical to see and dismantle is not Trump’s cartoonish villainy, but the subtle, covert racism in ourselves.
Can we fight without hating? Can we advocate for tones that we believe are most aligned with our values, that we believe are most conducive to change, without policing for them?
Our awareness of the challenges we face always outpaces our ability to solve them. We always place our ideals ahead of us, just out of reach of our reality.
We can’t fix our systems. We have to evolve into new ones.
Can we speak truth to power while at the same time acknowledging the inherent incompleteness and flaws of our truth? How?
We have to find a way to balance our presumption of innocence with our presumption of truthful accusation.