Lately, it seems, there have been too many examples of the endless contagion of fear that eventually breeds distrust and hate. What is a warrior of love and compassion to do in the face of so much that feels "wrong" in the world? How do we go about our daily work when we wonder all the while, does this work today even still matter?
Let's start at the punchline. It does. You do. All of it matters. The fear, the love, the work, this community: local and global.
Your work in the world: the hope you keep aflame, the peace you broker, the compassion you spread like a soft blanket over the cold, tired, and needy in your midst, it is critical because it is not the end of the road, but the torch that lights the path. If we truly believe in the power of our being-ness over our doing-ness, then who we are in the face of hardship whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or sacred is the very path out of darkness.
Who we are matters. And how you do what you do in the world matters very much. What you do day-in and day-out to move the needle just ever so slightly in the direction of love enables the others who follow in your wake to adjust their behavior towards grace with more ease and thus, exude a greater impact on that ultimate dream of unity.
Think on what Frederick Douglas said in 1863 to the American Anti-Slavery Society:
"What business, then, have we to fight for the old Union? We are not fighting for it. We are fighting for something incomparably better than the old Union. We are fighting for unity; unity of idea, unity of sentiment, unity of object, unity of institutions, in which there shall be no North, no South, no East, no West, no black, no white, but a solidarity of the nation, making every slave free, and every free man [and woman!] a voter."
We are not fighting for something that already exists, we are together co-creating something new and--at the moment--seemingly impossible. But even if this work of unifying our hearts and vision is left incomplete in our lifetime, it remains true what we do incomparably matters more than we will ever truly know.
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