(This is a guest post from Sherri Mitchell, a member of the Penobscot Nation, Indigenous Rights Attorney, and my cohost on Love (and Revolution) Radio which premiers Jan 6, 2016.)
As a revolutionary, street corner activist, or even as a human being that is trying to make their tiny corner of the world a better place, it’s important to remember that we are all doing the best that we can, to help heal this world, to secure our survival and to achieve lasting peace. We all have our own individual areas of focus, our own skill sets, our own belief systems, and our own limitations. One of the most distressing things that I encounter, in myself and in others, is this tendency to think that our efforts are not enough; that the efforts of others are not enough.
When someone takes a stand or position on an issue that we are passionate about, we tend to immediately point out how they are failing to address it properly. We point out all the ways that they are failing, or not doing enough, rather than recognizing and praising the small amount of good that is being accomplished. Every bit of good that is done in this world helps move us forward. Every heart that is softened, by any issue or cause, becomes more pliable and open. We have to be able to recognize the broader benefit of the work being done, on many fronts, and recognize that it is all adding to the good. Whether you’re working to protect children, the environment, animals, or on any number of other basic human or earth based rights issues, you are contributing something beneficial to the evolution of this world.
You are important, your work is important, and it is greatly needed.
We have some urgent issues that need solving immediately, so that we can continue to live here on this beautiful planet. We need to protect the water, preserve our ability to live sustainably in harmony with Mother Earth, and reduce the instances of violence. This will give us the space and time needed to solve the many other problems that we face. However, this doesn’t mean that all of those other issues aren’t important, nor does it minimize the value of the work that is being done to address them. Every commitment that is made to make this world a more loving, thoughtful and humane place is important. Every heart and mind that can be turned toward love and compassion is essential. The shift that we need will not come by force, it will not come by solving any one issue. It will come from hearts and minds being moved by love and compassion toward other living beings: two legged, four legged, winged and crawling, trees, plants, air and water.
When we recognize and praise the good that is being done, it amplifies the good. When we condemn and judge others for not focusing on the right issue, or not going far enough, we amplify the negativity and the sense of hopelessness that so many feel. We can’t allow issue alignment to be another means of separating us. No one can solve every problem. In fact, their power is diminished when it gets dispersed over too many issues. We need to honor the work being done by every one of us. We need to recognize and appreciate the compassion and commitment that drives each person to their own individual work. And, we need to amplify our sense of kinship, appreciation and respect for one another.
In the end, I believe that the tide will shift not as a result of the work of any one group, working on any one issue, but from a global elevation in consciousness. This will come from minds and hearts opening toward one another, with a deep recognition of our intrinsic connections to one another and all life. The energy for that shift is amplified when we look at one another with appreciation, love and respect. When we step back and see the whole picture from a spiritual perspective and recognize that every loving thought, breath, and action is contributing to a kinder, more thoughtful and loving world, we will come to understand our true power.
I honor all those contributing to the creation of a kinder, more thoughtful and loving world, from all corners and from all fronts. You are valued and deeply appreciated. Kci Woliwon, nitaps naka nitap’esgs. Komac koselmol
Sherri Mitchell (Penobscot) is an Indigenous rights attorney, writer and activist who melds traditional life-way teachings into spirit-based movements. Follow her at Sherri Mitchell – Wena’gamu’gwasit