I’ve been thinking a lot lately, learning a lot, and feeling very humbled. It’s occurred to me that if i want to be a better human being, then i have to be less selfish, more selfless. Movement building, in fact, is shifting the inner dialogue of self or community from “I want to..” to “What’s needed?” And from that place of what’s needed, its easy to see that the self has something to contribute – that every single self has something to contribute. Only from the perspective of personal ambition, of wanting to advance or gain something purely for the self, it is easy to feel defeated, unworthy…
The number of organizers I come across who are driven by ambition and don’t see why they aren’t succeeding is too many to count….many are brilliant people, with the capacity to truly move others. But those that truly inspire me rarely have a big following – rather, they are part of something inspiring, they participate in mechanisms that are miraculous because they combine work and joy.
This can happen in any community, in any network or alliance, any place of work, any place where the tasks of being alive occur. The tiny functions of the body might seem mundane when they are happening, food moving through the body, blood pumping. But altogether it’s so miraculous – a contained sun-processor, oxygen transformer, lined with pleasure receptors and holding emotions in flesh…it’s so something-out-of-nothing. In the community there are a million small functions like that, that can become a miracle, an interdependence, a movement – if we remove the barriers.
I am not convinced everyone has to be in some radical organizing job, not at all. I am absolutely convinced that the world would function with more humanity and equality and joie de vivre if it was understood that hard right work and joy bubbled up from the same fountain. (r)evolution is an internal process that can happen in anyone, and it takes work, rigor, discipline to reach that joyful place.
Maybe this is just my Virgo sun talking, but I have seen it over and over again, the look of elation when someone is placed on a task that suits them perfectly, and they complete it. All of our genetic, astrological, circumstantial and soulful tendencies turn us in a certain direction, and there is nothing like the feeling we get when we are able to run that way, full speed.
The world needs all of the skills that are out there – the creative skills, destructive skills, the maintenance skills. As organizers we must be asking ourselves how we can liberate all of the work and skills people have to towards our communities, towards what is needed.
For me this means releasing the elitism that can come with an organizer mind or an organizer job. I am so impressed with nurses, mechanics, carpenters, farmers…I am most impressed with people who do wonderful things with and for their community. I want to learn how to apply my creativity and visions to the needs of my community, rather than just some fabulous glamorous rock star dream life [which is always in the shadow of my thoughts – that’s normal right?].
This has made me think – how am I holding back from giving what’s needed to my community? What more can I give?
In the spirit of miracles and resilience and movement building – here’s a blog of the living!