It’s been a bit quiet over here because, quite frankly, most things have seemed unimportant and irrelevant in the context of what’s been happening in our country. How do we continue to talk about everyday things, post pictures of our lunch, our way of #weekending, or our epic workouts while our fellow humans are being shot while shopping for school supplies or out and about enjoying a summer evening? Or while children are concluding their first day of school to find that their parents have been arrested - not sure if or when they will see them again?
What does it say about the state of our country and our humanity that these types of events have become so commonplace that we can go about our daily business and our regularly scheduled hashtags, turning the other way and going about our lives, as if it’s just another ordinary day?
On one hand, yes. We of course need to go about living our lives. If we were to stop living our lives in the wake of tragedy and disturbing news, we would have all stopped living long ago.
But on the other hand, what can it look like to keep living *and* to keep paying attention? To turn toward instead of turning away; to choose action over acceptance of the idea that this is the blind fate of our country and that there is nothing we can do; to feel empowered and committed rather than hopeless or helpless or like we just don’t have the brain space to think about these things?
Not having the brain space to think about these things is a privilege reserved for those of us who are lucky enough not to have to think about them.
As with most instances of privilege, we have a choice about how we use it.
In an effort to turn some of my own disgust about our current reality into constructive action, my commitment is to, each week, for the upcoming weeks, share three invitations:
Tune In: one thing we can do to tune into what matters to us and what’s on our mind - in a way that cultivates courage, resilience, or compassion.
Take Action: one way to take micro-level action in our own life, to create more kindness, more intention, or more alignment between our values and our actions.
Create Change: and one thing we can do to chip away at the collective, macro-level change that we wish to create in the world around us.
The goal of this initiative is to provide invitations for action that can fit into the rhythms of everyday life, that will take less than five minutes and cost less than $5, and that will attempt to address the three most common barriers I hear:
I feel helpless.
I feel hopeless.
I don’t have the brain space to think about these things.
Join along if you’d like in the way that feels right for you. A few possibilities include:
Accepting the weekly invitations for action as you feel called to do so.
Sharing your actions using the hashtags #tuneintakeactioncreatechange and #concreteactionconsciouschange.
Inviting others to join in the next time you hear the words “I feel helpless,” “I feel hopeless,” or “I don’t have the brain space to think about these things.”
Together, perhaps, we can create just a few positive ripples in service of a more loving, more accepting, and more human world.
And with that - this week’s round up.
Fill out the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence. Here’s how:
Draw two circles - one that takes up almost the whole page, and another inside of it.
Inside the biggest circle, write down everything you’re currently concerned about - big or small.
Then, inside of the smaller circle, write down everything that you could do - big or small - to somehow take positive action toward your concerns. There is always something we can do - often, more than we think.
Download the Goods Unite Us app. (It’s free.)
Look up brands you buy and places you shop in the app.
Look at the reports and the percentage of money that each brand spends supporting different political parties.
Discover what politicians you might unintentionally be supporting through your purchases.
Begin to make small shifts in your buying habits accordingly.
Go to 5calls.org.
Enter your location.
Pick a cause that you care deeply about.
Let the app guide you through the process of making a call to your representatives - complete with a script, and a way to track your call result (voicemail, contact, etc).