The Big Shift

Well, friends, I guess tonight is as good as any to resume the blog. Thank you all for your patience, support, e-mails and continued interest.

On a personal note, these past few months have been an extraordinary time for contemplation and reflection…for pondering a deeper context for my work, life, and “mission,” as it were. Not sure what it’s all going to look like in the end, but I feel like, for now, this blog remains an excellent medium for an important ongoing dialog. Again, that you all for being a part of it.

Tuesday night, many of us felt The Big Shift. Never mind your personal politics, this was really something to behold in our lifetime. To think that I was born into a world where folks of color were not even allowed to vote still blows me the fuck away. But – this week has represented a huge shift in our collective consciousness.

I know this was a profound victory for all of us, but to see all of our black brothers and sisters in Chicago and elsewhere celebrating with such pure elation…it really hit me hard; especially after growing up in Houston in the 70’s, where the quintessential redneck mentality of prejudice and division was still bubbling beneath the surface. The result of this election was a huge step in an ongoing healing process.

As some of you may know, I’ve been a huge Obama supporter. But I noticed how cynical I had become to our democratic process. Even in light of what all the pundits and polls said, I was sweatin’ it out till the day of, wondering how or if the “Big White Ghost of the Replica” might somehow, someway, “influence” another election. But man…when I saw all those two and three-hour lines on CNN start forming back East at 7:00 AM Tuesday morning, something told me that we had hit critical mass on this thing, and that the pendulum had swung too far the other direction for anything or anyone to stop it. And by the time I got to the booth mid-afternoon, you could just feel it in the air.

What does all of this have to do with what we normally talk about around here? Everything. What we experienced this week was more than a political process, or even a democratic process. It’s an “every vote matters” referendum on the importance of every individual getting their ass off the couch and into action as a way of crystallizing what they believe in. It doesn’t matter who you voted for…just that you made the effort to participate in a system that, like it or not, we are all a part of.

It took me a long time to get this…where politics is concerned. But I believe I’ve understood the importance of this ideal regarding our daily lifestyle choices. So here is where a poignant parallel can be made; we always hear about how every vote counts in the democratic process and how it’s our civic duty to participate. Fair enough. But I say the same applies to every daily action we take, particularly when there are fundamental humanitarian, ethical and environmental ramifications attached to them. Many have yet to make this connection.

For example, regarding someone making a vegan food choice – if only one meal at a time – many people retort, “But how will my insignificant little choice possibly make a difference to the 12 billion animals that are killed in the US every year?” I say, the same way that everyone’s “insignificant” little vote mattered on Tuesday. Because as we engage a process at a one-at-a-time micro level, large-scale change is eventually mirrored on a macro level. That’s how it works, but it will only happen on this larger scale macro level when there are enough of us “voting,” and critical mass is reached.

Additionally, an election may be won in some cases due to all of those who DIDN’T get off the couch and go vote. This demonstrates how our inactivity – and the accompanying statement of apathy – can be made manifest in the world, as well. So even if we choose not to participate in a process of which we are all clearly a part, we’re still casting a vote, so to speak.

My point here is simply to underscore the big picture importance of every single choice we make, from one moment to the next; a kind gesture, an act of forgiveness, a recycled bottle, feeding a hungry human or feral cat, and yes, even a single vegan snack or meal choice. All of these things cast a vote for a more compassionate and peaceful world. Every single action we take is affecting some being, somewhere. Every single action means something…even if we can’t see it.

The next Big Shift awaits….

PS. For an inspiring spiritual and historical look at election night ’08, check out author/speaker Marianne Williamson’s recent blog here:

http://www.mwblog.com/journal/archives/2008/11/yes_we_did.php

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About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of seven books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. (He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford.) Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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8 Responses to The Big Shift

  1. Trevor says:

    Good to see your return Bobby.

    I asked my brother what he hoped Obama’s greatest achievement would be during his time as President, to which he replied, “To give people hope.”

    Initially I thought this was a fairly weak and general answer, but I suppose, in a way, that’s both the very least and the most a leader can do.

    My own view is that talk is cheap, no matter how eloquently delivered, and that I hope Obama’s policies lead to a healthier US and world as a whole. And, if they do, a change in the US Constitution will be made so that he can serve for more than two terms!

    When I stand in front of the 27 students of my primary school class, I regularly think of what the world will be like for them in the years to come. The future world, as you say, in so many ways, begins with what we all do, and don’t do, today.

    Best wishes,

    Trevor

    Brisbane, Australia.

  2. Despina says:

    Hi Bobby nice to see you back

    I supported Obama all the way from the beginning and I was so happy when Obama won, I was waiting on line for 2 and a half hours on line to vote and it was all worth it! I hope this is a start for much better things to come in our future.

    All the best,
    Despina

  3. Bobby Rock says:

    I would agree that it will all get down to action…to how effectively Obama will be able to lead and strategically influence the web of people it takes to actually get things accomplished here and abroad. (I personally feel good about the prospects…although he does have quite a mess to sort out from the onset.) But in the meantime, “hope” goes a long way…especially as we realize how little of it we’ve had these past 8 years!

  4. Valerie says:

    From the time I got into this election, I felt like I was going to burst- Obama HAD to win- for ALL of us!!! Never had a politician moved me the way he has. You described election day for me to a tee. I felt that the power of hope was in the air, but was still on pins and needles all day. I didn’t believe that hope actually won, until the concession speech- then I was finally able to breathe and rejoice.

    Hope lives. And I’ll do my part to keep hope alive.

    Take care,
    Val

  5. heather says:

    I confess I’m still a bit bitter over Gore’s “defeat” and the failure of either party last time around to field a candidate able to sort out the assorted messes we were in at the time. That the Republicans renominated Bush sent the message that they, as a party, were either 1.) completely out of touch with the idea of “of the people, for the people, by the people”, 2.) afraid to say they endorsed a poor choice in 2000 and renominated to save face or 3.) engaged in some “you broke it; you can fix it” wishful thinking.
    I was raised in a very politically active family, but I honestly didn’t follow this election very closely beyond knowing who stood where on what. I decided to vote for Obama quite a while ago, and that was that. His ‘color’ never occurred to me as relevant, and while I appreciate that his election is historic in regard to how far we’ve come toward racial equality in my lifetime, I hope that those to whom it is a critical factor accept that we’ve elected a President, not a Civil Rights leader. I hate to sound cynical, but in an essay I assigned in my Intro to Philosophy class, the vast majority of students worked race into their work. Maybe I’m the one missing a point here?
    Either way, to quote a bumper sticker I saw the other day:
    January 20, 2009
    The End of an Error

  6. Lisamarie says:

    Yeah I heard about that bumper sticker. In a sentence, all I have to say is “THIS IS THE LONG-AWAITED TIME FOR CHANGE”!

  7. Trevor says:

    Bobby,

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on Obama’s first term, to this point?

    Thanks,

    Trevor.

  8. Trevor says:

    Hi Bobby,

    Hope all is well.

    Any views to share on The President’s work so far? Has he lived up to expectations?

    Will it be the economy or the social agenda (connected to the economy of course) which will have most influence when America goes to the polls?

    Trevor

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