“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it — always.” Mahatma Gandhi
I see a lot of social posts about despair, disappointment, disgust, and “what is happening?”
The dismantling of one’s ideals and what we thought is true, of who we are and what we stand for as a people is disheartening.
But you are not the first nor the last that this will happen to, it is and has been happening since time began.
For new ground to be broken, there will be cracks and fissures that swallow people up whole.
A phoenix always rises from the ashes. Always.
There is the first.
The first to put up their hand.
To raise their voice.
To say what might be unpopular (or the truth).
But sometimes that isn’t enough.
There has to be the second, and the third and the fourth person, then the crowd, then our constructs, then our institutions, then our agencies, and then our governments. The path isn’t quick; it isn’t smooth, it isn’t easy — it is a long an arduous road.
There is a path to revolution, and it starts with the few and eventually spreads to the many. Sometimes it takes 100 years, 1000 years but it is on, and we are in the middle of one whether you like it or not. Whether you asked for it or not. Whether you feel like participating or not. It is happening.
We always stand on the shoulders of those that come before us and so many have fought worse and died for freedom and truth.
100 years ago a Brooklyn born woman named Inez Milholland rode a white horse named Omen to the steps of Congress of another incoming President. You don’t know her name because we aren’t taught about her. But you will know her and others like her soon. Our history is not being rewritten. It is being unearthed and brought to the surface.
She and many other women and men were our firsts.
Rosa Parks sat on the bus.
Martín Luther King gave us a dream.
Neil Armstrong went to the moon.
Gloria Steinem put up a fist.
Nelson Mandela went to prison.
Dolores Huerta wrote bills that became immigration laws.
George Francis Train published a forward thinking newspaper.
Alice Paul fought for women to vote in the US.
The list is long of these sparks, these firsts and many names one has never heard of have moved us forward as humans.
You are a spark.
In how you live your life. In the example, you are to your family, to your friends, to your community, to your city, to your state, to people you don’t agree with, to your country and our world.
The people of movements of the recent and long past are not just “radicals” “hippies” “liberals” “witches” “slaves” “workers” but anyone and everyone who wanted to heal, to act, to be heard, to be free, to be paid and who want us all to be more human to each other.
I look around when I have marched, and it’s everyone — young, old, all colors, religions.
Hundreds of years of oppression, bad behavior and have made way for this very large fissure to open.
“A nationalist will say that “it can’t happen here,” which is the first step toward disaster. A patriot says that it could happen here, but that we will stop it.” Timothy Snyder
United we stand, divided we fall.
And we are falling right now, falling right into pitfalls and traps of the worst reality tv show you’ve ever watched.
There are no accidents; there are no oops, there is always a director in any theater and the actors mere players.
Stop being surprised.
When adults can’t seem to get it done or continue to make excuses and are so very blinded by money and power, it is our children who will change us. They already have and are.
So many have been angry for a long while without having a voice, but the other side of that coin is the truth, hope, justice, and humanity.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King
Would you rather the racism and sexism and other -isms to continue to quietly guide the hands and minds of our country on the sly. You can’t fight an enemy unless they are out in the open.
There are no more shadows.
History repeats itself if we let it.
What to do you, you ask?
We march, we call, we write, we cajole, we communicate. We meet the people in office face to face. We know them by name, we have them on our phone, we pay attention to what our officials, our businesses, our influencers, our leaders are doing. We make it one of our jobs to understand the law, the rules and how things work. Because we must. If you want something to do, start there. Make it your job to know how things are run and teach others and make sure they know.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
So our kids walk out, raise their voices and move us to more action.
So our women are running for office and raising their profiles.
So our men want to protect us but are finding that difficult.
Then I see, “That’s all good and fine but I’m mad”.
Well, good, I say to you, then do something.
Are you are watching, waiting? Time’s up for that.
Participation is required in this game, and it is a game.
A game of money, power, and control. It is Life, Risk and Whack a Mole all in one.
Yes, let us all truly become, create, curate and make the change we want to be and see in our world.
But that isn’t enough.
Moving hearts and minds is the ticket.
“And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” Nelson Mandela
We live and preach to our bubbles. Bubbles burst you know.
Your posts on Facebook aren’t enough. This post isn’t enough.
Calculate the time I took to write this and what could I have been doing instead to make sure I have the tools necessary to battle whatever is being put in my way to making our world better. It is amazing what can happen in 40 minutes.
How can I post about sparkly disco roller skates and then this in the same week?
Because when you work, when you engage, you also need to rest, rejuvenate and rejoice that there ARE good, beautiful, fun, good, humorous, positive things happening all the time and they should be celebrated.
But, this isn’t about that.
Getting educated, getting in control, making the rules, making the laws. That’s our construct so we must play in it.
One by one, seat by seat, business by business, neighbor by neighbor, step by step.
To get to the King, you have to take out the pawns, the knights, the rooks and such.
Chess moves, calculations, planning, and precision. This isn’t a spontaneous block party.
We can do this without expletives and bile (save those for your home and private conversations). Thought they feel good and maybe that valve needs to be released once in a while.
But we have to be smarter, and this “stuff” is not just stuff, understanding exactly what is happening around us and to us is part of each of our jobs, every day. Countable is an excellent app for that — www.countable.us
We must lead with love
but we must be fierce.
We must be vigilant.
We must get organized.
Do not despair, move your disappointment to action.
Turn your disgust to rage, let it go and turn your sights on the prize.
What is the prize?
A country and a world that respects people no matter who they are. Full stop.
There is no sleeping, no standing around, no bystanders.
You are the varsity squad, and it’s time to suit up.
“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.”
When you watch something you thought and believed in crumble before your eyes, you can cry, you can be depressed, but then it is time to dry your eyes, pick up your ax, your machete, your shovel and clear the rubble, the garbage, the muck, and the mire. It is the only way to breed hope.
Hope comes in the tiniest batches, and everyone can participate with whatever gifts they have.
We all have a hand in the creation of the country and world we want to live in.
There is no choice in the matter, we are being forced to move and change and fight whether we wanted to or not.
Sometimes one’s bad deplorable habits come back to bite them.
This is one of those times.
Get used to it.
Unless we change it.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
So keep posting the food, the good times, the triumphs, the graduations, the heartbreaks, the articles you feel passionate about, what makes you laugh and the amazingly wonderful moments that happen as we sit on this beautiful blue spinning sphere.
But know there is a job to do.
You’ve been hired.
It’s called work for a reason.
Am I tired?
Yes, but the alternative is not an option.
One more thing, vote.
In My Humble Opinion.
What to do:
Learn the rules, the laws, how things get done, start with your city, move to your state, then to your country and then other countries.
Call, write, and do all of those things, even more.
Make art and joyous moments for yourself, your friends, family and co-workers.
Invite dialogue, know your facts, show your point of view to people outside your bubble.
Radical self-care & love: get into shape, I say this one to myself, strength in body and mind both.
Acknowledge your privilege.
Give your time, money and energy to groups who stand for what you do.
Be open and proud about the work you do to make change.
Strengthen your community one person, one family at a time.
Breed diversity, inclusion and belonging in every group or place you go.
What to read/audiobook:
Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, I bought this book in 2005, I just read it again.
On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons From The 20th Century by Timothy Snyder (thanks E)
Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
What to listen to:
The entire catalogue of Public Enemy Albums, start with Fear of a Black Planet. He Got Game as well.
Marianne Williamson Live Stream Lectures. In person in NYC
Marianne lectures the first and third Tuesday nights* at 7:30 PM Eastern, from Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, 29th Street at 5th Avenue, live and via livestream. Please go here for details on attending live.
Livestreamed talks and, when Marianne is traveling, video replays are every Tuesday night at 7:30pm Eastern.
To attend via livestream: The talks begin at 7:30pm ET and the replays remain available for 72 hours. Register Now to watch the stream and to be able to view the replay afterward. You must re-register every week to watch that week’s livestream. You will receive a link to the next livestream in your email.
Yes there’s always more, but start there.
With fierce love, hope and a shovel.
Written by Head Maven & CEO, Heather Newman, Creative Maven
Want more Maven Moments? Once a month we share where to find Heather in the world and the most “maven/expert” opinions on marketing, brand, travel, music, and culture that we like from the internet. Receive our next issue by signing up here. Follow on Instagram and IG Stories for real time happenings. #MavensDoItBetter