The Interdependent Web: Work at the Intersections
Ponderings of the Spiritual Life Director
We get to transform everything! Yes, I said those words on Sunday, as I was feeling inspired by a Peter Bowden webinar. And I still stand enthusiastically behind them, despite waves of doubt from thinking about the overwhelming task that it is, along with questioning the reality of the whole statement. But, I continue to hear a persistent calling- one that pulls me along by my heartstrings and asks me to keep working, keep singing, keep smiling, and keep changing myself and the world.
We all have a calling, each one different, each one a piece of the larger whole that is the Spirit of Life. And so we all must keep taking action that speaks to this calling. Sometimes we have enough energy to do grand things, and sometimes we need to turn inward and use our energy to nourish and care for ourselves so we can return to outward action. It’s a cycle and hopefully we don’t get stuck in one phase for too long, slipping into an unhealthy place of being, hiding our important piece of the love that is needed to create wholeness.
So, how do we sustain ourselves, and each other, so that we maintain healthy cycles of outward and inward care that in turn continue to help the web of life flourish? I believe there are many answers to this question. For the purposes of today’s ponderings, let’s look at the intersections.
When I make the statement that I want to do more environmental justice work, I cannot go blindly into it, focused only on where I want to go without considering the thoughts, concerns, emotions, and situations of those in the community that I have to work with in order to reach the goal. When we say we get to transform everything and we can lead the way, without leaving anyone behind, then we must persevere in learning about everyone involved. If I can’t figure out why some people don’t seem to care about our major environmental concerns, if I continue to dismiss people who seemingly don’t care and power full-force ahead against them, then I’m going to wear myself down- and quickly. Listen, it’s tiring work as it is, and there will always be people standing in our way and we will always have to be courageous in the face of those who continue to oppress and disregard life. But what if there was a way to bring more people along just by understanding their struggles and altering how we get to our end goal by including their realities into our process? This sounds like a much more life-sustaining way to get there. This is work at the intersections- environmental justice, racial justice, immigrant justice, economic justice. And so, in order to sustain my work and my energy, I must persevere in learning and listening. Yesterday, I read this blog and I felt a stronger tug, a stronger calling, and more energy just in the gathering of knowledge of the experiences of others. I encourage you to read it also and let me know if you feel inspired by this work at that intersections: