All of my reading and research keeps circling back to a frustrating conclusion: America’s current crisis runs deeper than I am capable of understanding. There are too many facets, too many fractures, too many nuances.
What I do grasp makes me want to hide, to retreat into my fiction reading list and never pick up another non-fiction book, never read another article or essay or blog post.
It feels as if everything I care about is under attack and there’s nothing I can do about any of it.
And, while nothing is an exaggeration, not much is the hardly-more-comfortable truth.
Not much might be a fragile incentive, but it’s compelling when everything is at stake.
I recently read The Next American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs. She refers a number of times to a quote from Mahatma Gandhi… Live simply so that others may simply live.
This, at least, I understand. Live simply.
Facets, fractures, and nuance.
I can help by living simply.
It is, indeed, not much. It’s also a tiny piece of everything.
“With the end of empire, we are coming to an end of the epoch of rights. We have entered the epoch of responsibilities, which requires new, more socially-minded human beings and new, more participatory and place-based concepts of citizenship and democracy.” Grace Lee Boggs in The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-first Century (Updated and Expanded Edition)
Recommended reading (and viewing):
- “Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in The New Yorker
- The danger of a single story TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- “January 14, 2017: Resistance” at the Cosmic Driftwood blog
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh at The National SEED Project
- “Spectral Awareness: 8 Quotes from Authors with Autism” by Tom Blunt at Signature
- “Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives” at Mic