Under cover of night, hundreds of migrant children were moved to tent encampments surrounded by high metal fences in the Texas desert. How is it OK to jail children and separate them from their parents? Can you imagine their fear? The practice continues despite our protests.
What am I going to do about it? What can I do?
Another untrustworthy man who doesn’t respect women or their rights was given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
What am I going to do about it? Is there anything I can do?
While we’re distracted and terrified, our ignoble House of Representatives passed another big tax cut for the wealthy leaving fewer resources for Medicaid and Medicare support for the impoverished, young, and aging.
What, oh what, am I going to do about it? What can I do? I hardly recognize my country anymore.
Dead whales wash up on beaches filled with indigestible human plastic. Smaller creatures choke with plastic rings on their necks. Dolphins are trapped in fishing nets.
I don’t know what to do about it. Do you?
I stopped using plastic straws. Do my 10 straws a year matter? I asked my grocery store to replace plastic straws with paper. I stopped using plastic grocery bags years ago. I try to buy produce without shrink-wrap, not an easy find even in the organic section. I take my virtuous bag of recyclable plastic to the grocery recycling bin. Such a small thing when the world floods and burns and no one in power seems to care. I do it because I don’t know what else to do.
It’s hard to cling to hope when I read the news or follow world climate catastrophe. We’re running out of time. What about our kids and grandkids? It’s hard to avoid despair. It’s hard not to hate the ones who don’t care and this is the biggest problem of all. The hate.
I cringe over presidential emergency alerts and constant White House chaos designed to keep me in a state of fear, but my hearing aid depends on my cell phone technology. Like others, I’m locked into this interdependent world. There’s nowhere to hide. What can I do about it?
When I need a rest, it helps to widen or narrow my view.
This summer, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars arced their way across the southern sky, closer together than usual. The moon grew fuller and brighter as it moved east, dancing with each shining planet along the way. First Venus, then Jupiter, then Saturn and Mars. From that planetary world, earthly catastrophe doesn’t matter more than a massive dust storm on Mars.
Sweeping away from the Sun to the galaxy to Suns swallowing other Suns, our human power games lose their significance. From there, our blue Earth floats through space. From there, our struggles don’t matter much.
Or I can narrow my view and focus on fall flowers fading in the fields. Taste the last fall raspberries, fat and juicy and sweet-tart on my tongue. I pick the upper branches while my dog nibbles the lower ones with gentle lips. We share while bees load their pollen sacs.
I watch the last tomatoes ripen and harvest enough zucchini for another soup. I think of the Monarchs I raised this summer sailing the winds to Mexico. Helping and protecting them was something I could do.
But what else? Am I big enough to forgive even the small injustices of life? To not get mad when a truck tailgates me late at night. To not resent the wealthy who refuse to share? Must I hold tight to every ungenerous reactions? Can’t I broaden or narrow my view and find another place to stand?
So much is beyond my control or anyone’s control. So much is up to the Earth to deal with the damage we’ve done. Will She decide humans are expendable or merely put us in our place? So much is up to people who believe the media propaganda they’re fed, just as Germans were convinced any injustice served some imagined good. So much depends on urging, begging, hoping people will vote.
There are signs of change, signs we’ve had enough. Even Fox News finds their customers are bored with repetitive ranting “Make American Great Again” rallies. Eventually, there will be a shift, but what can I do until then except send out more postcards urging people to vote and making donations?
No matter what, I can keep loving this screwed up world, resist despair, and do my best to keep my own small corner clear of plastic and hate. And I can vote.
I wrote a joyful post about butterfly dreams for this week, but changed my mind. I had to take a pre-election stand. It’s no time to hide under the covers which is what I’d rather do. Instead, I need to face the rage and prejudice that pervades my country. We lurch from crisis to crisis–environmental, educational and spiritual. What can we do to help?
For another piece about political action, see Have They Forgotten They Are Mortal? Lessons from Hecate. To remember the power of combining the sacred and environment, read The Copper Vessel: Prayer Walk for Seneca Lake. My community worked hard to prevent pollution of our beautiful lake and water supply. After many years and many protests, we won.