defining moments

perhaps because i was raised in germany most of my life. perhaps because i am a quarter german, which my blood knew long before my mind did. the stories of the holocaust and world war ii have fascinated me. the way good and bad was delineated there, and the ways in which those lines were completely blurred. i just watched ‘the reader’ and ‘miracle at st. anna’, both of which approach germans and facism and morality, bravery, good and evil. i recommend them, together. neither one is an easy watch, or reaches easy conclusions. both point to the power of small goodness, of the sort of kindness that can exist on an individual level in the face of conformity. redemptive.

small acts, in community, may be the highest possible act of humanity.

tonight, i got to emcee the WORLD gala. my dear friend naina khanna works there, and i have supported the organization as a facilitator in the past, for the foundational meeting of the positive women’s network. the gala was celebrating a transition of leadership, and celebrating the amazing women of the WORLD community. this kind of event fills me up, listening to all of these women talk about how deeply their lives were changed when they found WORLD.

the combination of the films and this evening have me thinking about defining moments. do we choose the moments that define our lives? do we put ourselves in the line of fire…is it fate that provides the setting for audacious bravery, is it random?

at defining moments in our lives something comes up within us, some essential aspect of ourselves which is our bravery, or our cowardice. it isn’t good or bad, it isn’t even intentional, it’s deeper than that. how do we cultivate that deepest self to speak up, speak out, hold the space for truth, protect our children and those amongst us with the least capacity to defend themselves.

the state of california has announced budget cuts, and all of the cuts are for the most marginalized in our society – the elderly, the children, those facing mental health issues, those living with hiv. how do we cultivate our deepest selves in ways that echo through the halls of our decision makers? can we systematize bravery and caring for each other?

not all of our defining moments are in clear wars, but we are all on a front line. how do we joyfully step into the heroic, generous, kind self within us on a daily basis?

the nyquil is setting in, hopefully the healing is almost complete.