Yesterday, January 1st, was an overwhelming day. Perhaps it was ‘change’ (a New Year), perhaps it was because I sat and thought of all the possibilities that I could do with this year. And that’s when the breaking down of my spirit happened. Because there are SO many ideas, so many issues that need addressing, so many people that need our help (Syria, Palestine, all the colonized people of the world who are fighting for their freedom from oppressive regimes), an environment that we are killing a piece of every single day.
But mostly I want to address the apathy. It’s easy to fall into, but we can’t afford to do it. We can’t afford to think that ‘those people with those problems aren’t ours because they live somewhere else.’ They live in our hearts, because they were once us. We can’t afford to think that we can’t ‘fight city hall’, think that any corporate foe is too big, because WE MADE them; we CREATED them. We can rein them in with our choices of how we’re going to spend (or not spend) our money. We can’t think that the only option we have is the 9-7 (yes, its 10 hours now in a lot of places, if you’re on salary) grind is the ONLY option we have. We have other options, but we have to speak with our money and our actions, and not just our voices.
Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses because they were created by a marketing machine of how Americans “should” live. Don’t think that the latest, greatest thing is required; it is for status. Call it what it is. And don’t buy into the status game; you’ll lose. There will be always someone richer, prettier, showier, flashier than you. And really, do you really care? Think about it.
So, this year, create your own world. Take back your life. Take down the capitalistic monster you helped create, take back your families, your friends, Take back the joy that a 10-hour day saps out of you.
Make it a year where you unplug at least for a few hours out of the day. Read a book, discover a poem, listen to Dvorak’s New World Symphony and think about his interpretation of the New World. Take a hike in the woods on a snowy evening and feel the snowflakes on your skin, the chill of the breeze as it kisses your face, the frost forming inside your nostrils, so much so that if you inhale deeply they come together and stick; just for a moment. Listen for the ghostly hoot of an owl, the hammering of a woodpecker, the call of Canada geese as they fly overhead. If they’re low to the ground you can hear the air beating through their wings.
Make it a year of getting reacquainted with Mother Earth. Get to know her, her moods, her caresses, her children. Especially her children. Instead of just watching the news about Syria, think about the fear of her people in their flight for survival, and ask What can I do? What if they were us? What would we want the world to do for us?
Make it a year of getting reacquainted with the people you’ve voted into office. Call them, write them, tell them your concerns, your ideas, your fears. Tell them your expectations, the reasons you voted for them in the first place. In this place of nuclear rearmament we need to have our voices heard. And not just to save US, but to save our world. We do not live in Star Trek, we are not on the Battlestar Galactica. We cannot run to our off-colony sites. This is the only home we have. We are a family of strong-willed people in a 3-bedroom house and we can’t afford to move up. What are we going to do?
But most importantly, make it a year to get reacquainted with you. What matters to you? What do you value? What can you get rid of? Throw away? Let go of? How do you want your life to be and what stirs you to action? If you no longer like the person you’ve become, what can you do to bring that first person back?
I ask you to think about these things. Maybe they will create images and senses in you that are strong enough for you to put aside your apathy, to save the earth, to save your culture, to save yourself, to fight for what you believe in.
The time is now.