From the Center of Action & Contemplation:
The hearts of more and more children, young people, adults, and senior citizens are yearning for a new story, a story of love rather than hate, of creativity rather than destruction, of win-win cooperation rather than win-lose competition, of peace-craft rather than war-craft.
They are waiting for a new story to explore, inhabit, and tell.
We are all looking for a larger and more loving story in which to participate.
[Brian D. McLaren and Gareth Higgins, The Seventh Story: Us, Them, & the End of Violence]
From activist and author Courtney Martin:
We continue to build the country of our dreams, the one worthy of our children. We counter tantrums with tenderness towards those all around us. People are grieving. People are tired. The vast majority of Americans have spent almost a year largely inside of our homes, trying to keep one another safe, our lives turned inside out in an attempt to protect ourselves from life-threatening disease, but also life-threatening leadership. This is no small thing.
We need to see each other. We need to look with ten times the magnification with which we are looking at this tantrum. We need to celebrate each other’s steadfastness and resilience, our neighborliness and creativity. We have shown up for one another in quiet, slow, manatee-like ways for so many months. So many have died—of covid, yes, but also cancer and heart attacks and a thousand other things probably exacerbated by stress and loneliness.
So much has been lost. Beautiful things—like banter with strangers and bellying up to a bar to laugh and cry with a friend. But toxic things, too—so many delusions about this country shed. We are not as far along on our moral arc as we may have thought. We are not as in control, either. Control being, as we are being reminded now, an addiction of wounded, unwise souls.
Sacred is all around us. Sacred is the steadfast sheltering in. Sacred is the children writing barely legible messages to their grandparents about how excited they are to see them when it is safe.
Sacred is the rising bread and the people’s peaceful footfalls during marches that filled these streets this summer. Sacred is the church that shaped MLK delivering a prophetic voice right in time. Sacred is the murmurations and the raging waves and the swaying Redwoods, ancient enough to withstand any man’s silly machinations. Sacred is the stupid zooms and the inside jokes and the living room forts that have gotten us through. Sacred is the soul searching of so many White Americans, the earnest attempts to find different ways of being with others, of being with ourselves. Sacred are the caregivers, who make our country less lonely, the organizers, who make our country more democratic, and the teachers, who aren’t giving up on our kids no matter what.
This is where my attention is going this week, this month, this year. While they flail, I will focus. While they desecrate, I will nurture. While they grasp for control, I will release—delusions, power, money, whatever will help this place heal. There is a version of this country that exists within and beyond this moment. I’ll meet you there.
“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
The Enlightened Heart, p. 59