The answer to “What can I do?”

I have been wondering about the convergence of several things lately.

  • I was blessed to have participated on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018. That was the experience I had been searching for. The opportunity to develop friendships with American Indians and those who work to decolonize White people. http://firstnationfarmer.com/
  • The devastation from the pandemic has exposed the fragility of our economic and political systems.
  • The public execution of George Floyd by the police has triggered sustained protests against police abuse and more broadly, systemic racism.
  • We continue to witness the evolving environmental disaster with hurricanes on the east coast and out of control wildfires on the west.

The convergence of these things has brought this country, the world, to a place we are beginning to realize we will not completely recover from.

For my entire life I have worked to try to create change. To turn away from war, to build peace. To stop the profligate burning of fossil fuels and other environmental assaults.

But I have had little success.

It has been really difficult to convince people to change, to create change. This convergence, though, has brought us to a place where changes are forced upon us. Change is happening, will continue to happen. The status quo is unraveling.

The question is what can we do to influence the course of changes for the better?

I am honored to be working with a group of Friends who are working for change. Working on the process of decolonizing Quakers. https://www.decolonizingquakers.org/

In years past I might not have been so hopeful that yet another conference or series of webinars would actually create any change. But with the convergence of forces listed above, change is being forced upon us. Might this be the time our work for justice will actually make progress?

The question people will be asking now is “what can I do?”

Several years ago I was blessed to hear Arkan Lushwala speak about “Indigenous Ways of Restoring the World” during a call sponsored by the Pachamama Alliance.  “Arkan Lushwala is a rare indigenous bridge of the global north and south, carrying spiritual traditions from the Andes in his native Peru as well as being adopted and initiated by the Lakota people of North America.”

I was very excited when I heard the title of his talk. As I’ve been saying the solutions for our environmental chaos must come from a spiritual center.

“Everywhere people ask, “what can we do?”
The question, what can we do, is the second question.
The first question is “what can we be?”
Because what you can do is a consequence of who you are.
Once you know what you can be, you know what you can do”

Arkan Lushwala

This is why we need Spiritual Warriors.  Because we ask ourselves the first question, “what can we be?”  Knowing that,  “our actions are precise, our actions are in harmony with the movement, the sacred movement, of that force that wants to renew life here on Earth and make it better for the following generations.”

The answer to “what can I do?”

Speaking about what is happening on Earth right now,
many of the conditions of life that we used to take for granted,
now are really out of balance.
Hopefully we still have time to get back into balance
so life may continue.
I travel around the world and meet people and talk to people
from all different cultures.
And everywhere people ask, “what can we do?”
The question, what can we do, is the second question.
The first question is “what can we be?”
Because what you can do is a consequence of who you are.
Once you know what you can be, you know what you can do,
and we cannot afford wasting time;
we have little time.
We need to be precise now.
When someone sincerely asks, “what can I do?”
my humble answer,
the only answer that I find in my heart to be sincere is,
“First find out what you can be.”
Action is extremely necessary at this time.
This is not a time just to talk about it.
The most spiritual thing now is action.
To do something about what’s happening.
To go help where help is needed.
To stand up when we need to stand up,
and protect what is being damaged.
And still, this action needs to be born
from a place in ourselves that has real talent,
real intelligence, real power,
real connection to the heart of the Earth,
to universal wisdom,
so our actions are not a waste of time.
So our actions are precise,
our actions are in harmony with the movement,
the sacred movement,
of that force that wants to renew life here on Earth
and make it better for the following generations.


#SeedingSovereignty #DecolinizingQuakers

This entry was posted in #NDAPL, climate change, Indigenous, Spiritual Warrior, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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