Four of us sat at the red and white checkerboard-cloth covered picnic table, eating, sipping our drinks, and mulling over the presentation we had attended earlier. The speaker called us to action on behalf of our nation, to use our bodies and minds to stop and reverse the change in course from Democracy to Plutocracy.
Every age has its challenges, but we’ve been ruled by the monied class before, and it only ever benefits the wealthy, who are, and always will be, the few. Democracy is about all of us having a stake in our country, all of us having a voice – being represented – even if imperfectly.
I felt a great camaraderie with those in the room cheering the speaker’s words, but I wondered whether we’d heed the warning as the hall emptied out into the night.
As the group of us sat discussing her thesis and what we could do, I remembered that every action has ripples, and constant repetition of similar ideas converts thought to action, initiating change.
I remember playing Tug of War in grade school, and how hard I pulled to avoid being dragged through the mud. We knew the winning team would be whomever had the strongest players, and not merely the highest numbers. The game was only played on special days, like Field Day, and our teacher, believing in fairness, wouldn’t allow all the strongest players one on side. Even when there wasn’t a fair-minded adult overseeing those kinds of games, I would always quit if my team was too unevenly matched. Who wants that? I think many of us have given up in our political Tug of War because we see how unevenly matched we are. But I want to be like my teacher, and do what I can to make it a fairer fight.
We were the soul occupants on the enclosed, well heated, and dimly lit restaurant porch, which seemed to solidify our sense of fellowship as the night wore on, bringing our thoughts to the more personal concerns and cares of our daily lives. We spoke of our children, the challenges of raising them, and of them leaving home. We talked of loved ones dying, of aging parents, and dealing with those griefs. A deeper kinship was borne out of that personal circumstance than the affinity of strangers wedded to a common cause I felt earlier that evening.
Change happens for me when something I need and/or care about is jeopardized, damaged, or lost. I desire stasis in my life, but that requires forever correcting my course, when I thought it meant finding my true path and the rest of my life would be easy, or somehow self-regulating. I know now, more than I ever have, that there is no retiring – that I’m always in the game. If I’m not strong enough to maintain the pull on my side of the mud patch, I need to call others to my side – and maybe even take a break until I’m strong enough to get back in the fight.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.