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: