The Terror of Learning

Learning can be scary because it inherently implies detachment from currently held beliefs and understandings. It can be a threat to our individual or group identity.

Alternatively, I see learning as an opportunity to grow. While we may choose to shift our position as a result of something we have learned, learning can also result in having a more expansive view or increased flexibility to shift our perspective. We can do both while remaining still in the same spot, in the safety of our core values and purpose.

Optimism and Realism: Allies or Antagonists?

If you read this blog, you might have noticed that I am an optimist. Someone very kindly called me a ‘beacon of hope’ recently. While many people have expressed appreciation for the work that I am doing through The Fruition Coalition, others have expressed concern that it is detached from reality.

Can optimism and realism be complementary rather than contradictory? I think they can. Without optimism, our efforts to change the real conditions of our lives lack vision. Without realism, our dreams for the future lack grounding. Both are necessary, and both are mutually reinforcing.

The Humor of Political Difference

I am really happy about the number of women who were elected to Congress this fall. I posted a status update to this effect a few weeks ago. One of my friends, someone that I knew very well when I was a child, wrote a snide remark in response to my post. Normally, I might have found this to be offensive. But I know that he was, and probably still is, one of the funniest people I have ever known. I chose to feel amused and I responded with a similarly snide, yet convivial, comment.

Perhaps the true problem in our political system is that we are too serious and angry. It is not our difference that is problematic– it is our identification with, and interpretation of, these differences that causes conflict.

So let’s lighten up. Let’s focus on the seriousness of the issues we are exploring, but let go of the personal attachments that cause us to react with emotional violence. Let’s create a more miraculous world through our political system, and have fun doing it.

My NIMBY Campaign

Some people are prejudiced and judgmental.

Not in my backyard.

Some people are indifferent toward people who are poor or homeless.

Not in my backyard.

Some people prefer to protect themselves rather than to serve humanity.

Not in my backyard.

Some people project their fears onto the world around them.

Not in my backyard.

Some people perpetuate violence rather than promote peace.

Not in my backyard.

The Process of Social Change

I would like to introduce a proposed four step social change process:

  1. Provocation – Something happens that raises a question about the legitimacy of an existing social condition or raises awareness about an existing unjust social condition – OR – something happens that provokes the imagination in such a way that a better alternative future is envisioned
  2. Introspection – A person or group of people develops a strong personal conviction and thorough understanding of the problem or opportunity through thought, meditation, and/or prayer
  3. Confrontation – The social condition (real or imagined) is interpersonally explored and contested both with insiders and then with outsiders
  4. Transformation – A new social agreement is developed and implemented

A Revolution or The Revolution

Every day, the earth rotates 360 degrees on its axis. Each year, the earth revolves around the sun. Revolutions are a natural part of the ebb and flow of life. Every breath we take is a potential revolution. Every thought, every word, every gesture. We need not plan or wait for a big revolutionary event; the very act of being alive is itself a revolution.

I admit that I sometimes hold naïve and romantic ideas about revolution. The word revolution seems to terrify most people, even though our nation was founded after a revolutionary war. Revolution understood as the unfolding process of life can beautify and sanctify our world. This is what I mean by revolution.