Posted by: MC | January 14, 2012

What am I Doing Here? OCCUPYING CHANGE.

Here we are.  In crisis.  Together.

The truth of the oft cited Chinese logograph for crisis is that it holds two characters, one connoting danger and the other signifying a point of uncertainty, a critical moment, a point of profound and unsettling change.  This is vastly more realistic than the more New Age rendition that misattributes the notion of opportunity to the second character.

We are in crisis.  These years are more and more clearly composing an uncertain time of change in national and in global circumstances.  Alongside is the danger that kind of historic moment guarantees.

Nonetheless, there is opportunity here, and in keeping with the shared spirit of our relatively brief history as a country, citizens of the United States continue … so far … willing to remain optimistic.  At least hopeful enough to risk showing up to the situation before us. 

Consistent with the priorities expressed by the people composing 100 VOICES – AMERICANS TALK ABOUT CHANGE, we continue willing to do what we can to make real what the vast majority of us want — the wellbeing of our families and communities supported by a healthy economy, clean air and water, and public leadership that is wise, mature and cooperative public leadership.  A frequent expression of the 100 VOICES was big frustration with our current leaders.  In addition to exercising our right to vote and working to affect policies that support the extreme wealth of the few over the wellbeing of the many (priorities of both the Tea Party and Occupy movements), the 100 VOICES gave called for the powerful assertion of democracy that is listening and speaking across our differences.

Back to the Chinese characters and back to the answer to the question I ask myself – Really.  What am I doing here?  Why EX:Change and its book? Why another drive around the country?  Why all the energy when it too often seems that too few ears are turned in the direction of my one tiny voice?

You’ve heard me describe the wisdom and integrity of the 100 VOICES.  You’ve heard me say the part about listening across differences and the necessity of humility and courage for making our democracy real.  Doing what I can to support those things is a significant part of my answer to the question of what I’m doing.

And then there’s this.  The times are dangerous and the greatest danger may lie in giving up.  The crisis itself is finally nothing new and this is why it makes only great sense for me and for all of us to continue showing up to the CHANGE we are most certainly in.

So, here’s the way my thoughts are going.  See what you think—

  • We’re born.
  • The ONLY guarantee with being born is that we will die.  That’s scary.  It’s also unavoidable.
  • A corollary to this fact is that every person on the planet shares this very same fate.
  • We are related in the circumstance of our mortality and that makes us related or interdependent in the circumstances of our living.
  • These facts can guide wisdom when they are accepted.
  • They can also guide harmful competition and aggression when they are feared.
  • Fear usually leads to denial and lots and lots of energy, money and thinking to support the assertion of power over.  This happens based ideas that others must be oppressed (or eliminated) so that my (any individual or group’s) mortality may be avoided (or, at least delayed).
  • Crises like those we’re up against now provide both opportunity and necessity for deciding how to live together with the fact we will all die.
    • I’ve been watching a Netflix series on the sciences studying the universe.
    • Like us, it was born and it will die.
    • We live here, in the universe, all of us composed of different bits of the same stuff.
    • This is scientific and it is holy.

So, there you have it.  This is what I’m here for.

The EX:Change project and 100 VOICES book are artifacts and agents of change.  They, like all of us and our actions in the world, are stardust interacting with stardust.  This fact is impossible to escape and quite likely is the source of our willingness to continue showing up with the humility and courage it takes to join in the radical act of listening and speaking with each other.  We are related.  We can accept and even draw comfort from that.  Then together, we can OCCUPY this crisis – this possibility – this CHANGE.


So, my friends, I will be driving again starting next week.  At least another 10,000 miles.  I am looking forward to seeing each and all of you along the way.

I would hugely appreciate your support by formally following this blog (there should be a “follow” button at the top of this page).  Then, if you’re on facebook, please LIKE the pages for 100 Voices Americans Talk About Change and EX:Change.  I’ve also just ordered my first smart phone…and at the donated advice of a generous PR firm, Business Development Directives in Eagle, WI, I will soon be…Tweeting…!  I must be serious!!

Enough for now.  Back to looking for venues and media spots.  My first stop will be in the SF Bay Area – Jan. 22-26, then Santa Barbara Jan. 27, 28.  Waiting for possibilities in LA for Jan 29 and San Diego for Jan 30 and 31.  Then as February starts, the Mini Cooper and I will be taking the big left to head east.  THANKS again and again for your company along the way!

Be in touch!

Occupy the Change!!

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