It has been a tumultuous time these last few weeks with Hillary emails flooding my mailbox and me wavering, wavering – shall I send (more) money? Why am I not doing it? (Other than the fact that I’m sort of broke all the time.) Finally, it’s time to shit or get off the pot, as they say. Tomorrow is Tuesday.
So, never mind for whom I cast my vote – that is and will remain utterly my own business. But all this – this sturm und drang on my fb page when I said I’m wavering – this waking up in the middle of the night arguing with myself, this nightmarish dread of a Trump presidency – this is clarifying some stuff for me, and it is time for clarification.
At the heart of this matter is the principle of Democracy. When we say “of the people…”, the people is not a collective – it’s each person. One at a time. Not the “will of the people” or the “voice of the people” – but of each person. Each person matters. Each voice matters. Each mind making meaning for itself. There is no whole without every single part. This is why Democracy is the most spiritual form of government we can create. It is in alignment with the larger Truth – that each atom in the universe is important – integral – to the whole.
So…each person, each elephant, each tree, each spider, each endangered frog, each and every inch of the coral reef, each drop of water. Each baby dying in the Sudan, each mother crying in Syria, each young man who cannot make a living in Mumbai or Nigeria or Kansas. Each child going to school hungry, each little girl raped, each sister watching her brother die in the street, each boy strapped to a bomb vest, each man living out his life behind bars.
Nothing is anything without each and every thing.
I have just finished watching the Amazon.com series Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton playing the “David” in the equation. And yes – I loved the feel-good ending of David taking down Goliath – an ugly, half-burned grotesqueness who represents the monster of a corporation that plays with human life and the planet willy-nilly. The entertainment industry makes hundreds of these shows –which make us all feel good as we cheer the pixelated David on and put away our own slingshots. Our stones are left on the ground, our slingshots fall into disrepair as we fill our time singing Kumbaya, or jumping up and down in frustration, or praying for deliverance, or curling up in a ball in our beds. (I do all of these things myself, one and a time and sometimes all together.) All the while, Goliath steps all over us, gobbling up the planet, sucking every resource dry, poisoning our food, water, air and soil.
We have come to a point when reasonable discourse has vanished off the face of the planet. We have one shot at this thing – every season – and it is this vote that we cast. We still have – unbelievable as it is – this right, this chance to take a stand, to make a point. One stone to pick up to place in the slingshot.
As I see it, there are two major contributors to our global crisis right now. Over population and corporate greed. We cry about racism, hate, gun control, immigration issues, climate change. Follow each of these carefully and there is one evil standing at the gate. Unfathomable greed. We can read the newspapers (online) and make speeches about racism, sexism, alcoholism, whatever. The truth is that if you put a lot of animals in a very small cage and take away resources and agency, they will turn on each other and kill. We are pressured beyond our endurance by interests that do not care about us and the result is a sort of dark fear that turns to hate and rage. It’s true that each of us has to transform this fear and rage and hate inside ourselves. It’s also true that we need to finally acknowledge the pressures and get out from under. While humans all share a tendency to be greedy, I have to say that we did not all create this cage, these pressures. It is neither true not fair not clear nor honest to say that humans need to transform themselves before they can change the world. The child that cries herself to sleep in hunger or pain does not share an ounce of responsibility for this horrendous state of affairs. No more than does the endangered toad or the polluted water.
Which brings me to what is happening right now in North Dakota. #noDAPL has become the single most important issue this world faces. I don’t care where you live, in what corner of the world you manage to get internet access and read about this thing happening on some cold mountain in North America. This is about you and me – every one of us. Stopping the destruction of the planet, standing up for the disenfranchised peoples of the world, uniting to stop Goliath from bleeding us dry – this is our work right now. I am not near that mountain and I cannot drop everything and go there. I can’t even buy stuff to send it to those brave but cold warriors waiting for winter. I have no legal expertise to free the journalists who are being jailed, and I don’t write for a newspaper.
But I know how important this is. I know that my breath, my flesh, my children’s breath and flesh, and their children’s children’s breath and flesh depends on the outcome of this battle. I know that all the animals on earth (and those who didn’t make it) are waiting to see what will happen. I know that the trees and the rivers in Australia and India and Russia and Africa and in Saudi Arabia are waiting. Will we come together and make a huge showing with our slingshots of words, songs, dances, dreams and prayers? Will we trust ourselves and show our brother and sister species that we can, in fact, live in alignment with the Great Truth that still lives in each and every one of us?