I’ve a question. How far do we have to go before we’ve gone too far? I know, ‘be a bit more specific’. Okay, so here’s my current conundrum. And, before I carry on, do not for a second think I’m taking this lightheartedly. On the contrary, I’m stumped and have all kinds of feelings playing tag with me over it.
Those who read this blog regularly know I seek to be self-responsible which implies honest, accountable, transparent, and all that good stuff. That was part of Redo365’s mandate anywho. You also know I stand on the side of love, try to catch words that might be divisive in nature, and choose to be ‘pro’ damn near everything because of a belief that to oppose is to resist and what we push against, pushes back, perpetuating more of what we do not want.
So, that latter comment about being ‘pro’ is where I’m stuck. Would one call me a “moderate”? Geesh, me thinks not. I was vegetarian most of my life, now vegan, which is hardly moderate. Those who know me, know I have views, many of which are outside the box. No, I don’t think anyone would think me a moderate, but am I becoming one?
We are currently living in a media driven shit storm of monumental proportions. The US has a presidential candidate who stupefies me. In fact, I can’t believe I wrote ‘presidential candidate’. It seems so wrong. What rumbles in my brain is, “Really? That was the best you could do. Really?” Regardless, there he is standing beside his opponent, a woman whose entire adult life (damn near) has been spent in the public eye. She acted with grace and dignity as First Lady of the nation, and her career has been remarkable as careers go. And yet… WOW. The vilification of her as a person is beyond anything I could have imagined. Could somebody please talk about the state of the nation, or maybe about a platform? Oh wait, he does. He’s gonna build a wall, make groups wear an identifier, and… Oh, never mind.
Okay, then. How do I cope, or speak without becoming a ‘hater’, or railing ‘anti’ this or that? Hmm. Does moderation have any place when things go topsy-turvy? Tis the question, yes? And here’s two more. Does allowing make me weak? Does falling humbly to my knees begging for wisdom and guidance, make me a zealot? I suppose it depends on your perspective.
For me, both are the only way. I want to be moderate in my response to situations my head and heart can make no sense of. Has the world truly gone mad? Probably not. Instead, we’ve probably got some opportunities being laid out for us.
Backlash is a phenomenon first brought to my attention as a student of Women’s Studies. It is the recoil that occurs when an elastic band snaps. It is the push back response to something we don’t like. It is cause and effect. It is natural. It spurs societal change, it raises awareness. Without it we remain puppets. It occurs in big and little ways all the time and in fact, I find solace in the degree to which I perceive backlash occurring lately because it means great change is afoot.
Allowing others their space is tough. It means letting them have their up to my down, their indifference to my passion, and so on. It even means not resisting evil when staring me in the face. This does NOT mean I condone it, but I have a choice to play by its rules, or choose another way. And there’s plenty of backlash happening all around us, so we have lots of opportunity to choose new, more enlightened ways of handling ourselves.
I want to be up for the challenge. I want to remember Ghandi, and Thich Nhat Thanh who told Martin Luther King to sit. Can I be an agent of change simply by being present to challenge the status quo? Yes.
Of course it’s the slow and steady approach and as a method gets its own share of backlash. For the most part, I don’t give a beetle’s butt what people do. After all, I live in a glass house so keep an eye on stones and the like. On the other hand, when something is blatantly out of whack, I need to do a review and figure out how best to deal with it, you know, to keep the anxiety at bay. And, goodness knows, there are no end of out of whack somethings floating around these days. Everybody wants the government to act to stop this wrong, or that injustice. But wait a second, don’t a lot of those people think the government sucks? Hmm.
It is easy to point fingers and lash out at something, or someone, else. The tough pill to swallow is the one that asks us to point at ourselves, first. What could I be doing this very second to make things better? Stop pointing fingers comes to mind.
My wish tonight might surprise you because you probably expected moderation. No. I feel the need for openness. I, for one, want to be more understanding and far less judgmental. I want to hear, really, truly hear the other when s/he speaks. I want to look at myself when I see injustice and ask where I have acted unfairly. And so on. No matter what, I will always believe love is the answer. Love, the capital L kind, is all we need, because if being steered by it, we would instinctively do what is best for ourselves and others. With love as the driver, we would know exactly how to use moderation to our advantage and still get where we wanted to go.