The full context of change is peculiar to our circumstances and comes in so many shades of determination, power, growth, and pressure that by their sheer nature, they will draw us out of conventional wisdom, and lift us from the box of conventionality, and catapult us into the stream of pure possibility and amazing potential.
Where do I start, some might ask.
Another might say, how fast can I grow.
Many will say I am angry and comfortable in my anger so I want to remain in the space of opposition.
Gandhi would say I don’t take sides yet I am every side.
My she-roe of all times Harriet Tubman would say, I will meet you on a cold winter night, when you are without compass, or torch, or sufficient clothing against the bloodhounds and the cold winter air, and I will lead you through the underground railroad of strength and pull you through the power of hatred and resistance until you find yourself on the other side of knowing.
The Chief of Fire Operations would say throw away your script and your PowerPoint and just let them see the spirit of who you are and listen to why change is important: how even the most conservative of us, the most hopeful of us, the most amazing of us, the most loving of us are all agents of change.
The Captains tell me we have an important job to do, important skills to learn, seats of fire to extinguish, but we also have important ground to stand on – a tradition which grew from my father’s father’s father who fought fires and saved lives and taught me how to be family – a family that now realizes it is male and female and trans and bi and gay and queer and all shades of skin and all textures of religion and all skills of comprehension and all complexities of mind with the presence of all voices of God or no-God, the common denominator of which is a love so strong that I will give you my life.
I will rescue you.
The courage of change stands at the edge of redemption, the fear of falling, the blackness of fire, the lost of hope, the roof of abandon and catches you just before you go over the edge of the abyss and holds you there beyond politics, beyond bigotry, beyond religion, and sees you as neither mind nor body but soul and resuscitates you until you can breathe again. So that you can return to each moment that realizes change is always possible.
We walk the water of impossibilities, and find that we have the courage to create outside of the box of conventionality, to tell a new story of strength, to dance beyond the realm of fear, to climb into the fresh space of deep listening, to witness that each and every one of us is an agent of change.
We balance ourselves in the legal framework of policies and protections and best practices and better than the best like a careful blade of the law, to make sure that we color within the lines, until we learn to express ourselves outside of them.
All adversaries activate change.
When I was a little kid, about five years old, my cousins taught me a game called “tonk”; and part of it included a trump card that could win over cards. It was something that we wanted, something that we could use, something that empowered us to leave the ordinary deck with a new sense of awareness into the extraordinary energy of winning, and find ourselves in that captivating awareness of now in a reality of dissonant voices that struggle to be heard, that find themselves resurrected in the streets of protests and revitalized realms of caring and emerging battles of pride. We never knew we had to get back to the basics of inclusion, and never knew that the sheer vote of a single card would trump us, into realizing that we have to take our heads out of our proverbial yesterdays. We have to realize that tomorrow is already here.
The wall of blame, the wall of distance, the wall of hatred, the wall of envy, the wall of false pride, the wall of lies, the wall of resistance, the wall of fear has got to come down, so we can really see that we are one, despite our differences.
(This is Part 1 of a Seven-Part Series dedicated to Activating Change)