I'm testing an idea here.
Our friend Richard Rohr says that the best criticism of the bad always includes the practice of the better. I believe him.
That's probably why some folk tell me they think I go too easy on politics or religion or movies.
Good people taught me a long time ago that we don't need reminding of what's wrong as often as we may think. We already think about problems, suffering, and evil so much, that our perceptions are often distorted into believing everything's getting worse. What both the brain and the world need is a vision of hope rooted in real life.
Not that we shouldn't lament real pain—far from it! If we don't develop healthy ways of grieving loss, voicing anger, and meaningfully expressing sympathy and solidarity with those who suffer, we'll become misers or robots.
But Dr. King's famed speech of protest includes not only the clarification of the evils of racism, but also a dream—a vision for the better.
A vision, of course, of a world in which all of us sit together at the table of community, and lions lie down with lambs.
Along the path to that world, as John O'Donohue taught me, the duty of privilege is absolute integrity, which means our task as individuals and in community must include evaluating our own power, and serving from that place; and evaluating our own lack, and asking for help from that place.
In any case, my tribe won't defeat yours, nor yours mine, without bringing more pain to us all. The problem is not with belonging, but when we make our belonging dependent on causing someone else to suffer.
So here we are.
There are two years and eight months left until the next US Presidential election.
And I think we are all faced with the same question.
If you support the current political administrations, what will you do today, and in those two years and nine months, to make a better world for all of us?
And if you oppose the current political administrations, what will you do today, and in those two years and nine months, to make a better world for all of us?
What power have you been given with which to serve?
What lack do you notice in yourself that might also be an invitation to ask for help?
How can we move toward the deep embodiment of what we can actually do, right here, right now, cherishing life-affirming belonging without causing others to suffer, in our homes, our communities, in person, and online?
These are the kinds of questions we're committed to asking through The Porch magazine and our upcoming Movies & Meaning Experience. If you'd like to explore these questions and this dream in person, consider bringing your magic to the community. We aren't fully "we" without you.