I don’t understand. In the neighborhood where I grew up, in this last week there have been A LOT of shootings, several murders, three home invasions, and a lot of robberies. I turn on pop music though, and here’s another rapper claiming to “rep the hood” while they’re driving expensive cars, wearing expensive jewelry and shooting guns. I don’t understand.
Shooting guns. With the rash of mass shootings over the last year, I don’t understand how people can still assert their supposed Second Amendment rights, allowing corporations to flood the streets with mass amounts of weaponry and exploiting peoples’ feelings of insecurity and doomsday-ism. I don’t understand.
In the place where I was born, there’s a lot of joblessness and fear washing into the lives of everyday people. With the North American oil market collapse, my cousins and brothers-in-law, their families and friends, and a lot of people are suffering from economic insecurity. Yet these same people are damning the election of a Liberal prime minister who wants to build sustainable power options across the nation, create a new economy that’s not reliant on raping the Earth, and building community among a damaged people. I don’t understand how anyone can hate that.
THOSE THINGS are all true. But I want to tell you what I DO understand.
I understand radical personal engagement. Everyday I’m faced with the choice of whether or not to maintain the connections I have within myself and to the world around me. Everyday I get to decide who I am, how I connect, and whether something matters to me or not.
I do understand the world is working exactly how it needs to right now. There are crappy situations for a lot of people in a lot of places, and even though they look compromised and painful, they are the right things for this moment. From the tragedies and drama, hurt and discouragement, something is getting dismantled, and something else is getting built.
That’s true for me, too. For the last several years, I’ve struggled to make sense of this career I’ve made for myself. I’m a bit of a consultant, a bit of a writer, a bit of a speaker, a bit of a designer… I’m a little bit of all of these, and yet, none of them. My audience wavers, bringing me in when its popular or convenient, but forgetting me when there’s more to be done. But this is exactly how its supposed to be!
Right now, the fiery furnaces of our individual bodies, hearts and minds, are working in concert with everything, everywhere to create the massiveness that is within each of us. The gangbangers and the concert maestros, the mothers and the children, the vandals and the politicians… all of us are within this place doing this thing in concert with one another.
Maybe Neil DeGrasse Tyson said it best:
“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”
Just by being alive, the world is moving along perfectly, imperceptibly excellently. I have lived through a lot of things, lost a lot of things, and done a lot of things, and I know this one thing is true for me. This is what I understand today, and what I wanted to share with you.
I really wanna hear from you. Give me a call or reply to this? Take care.