“Bottom line is even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what, are we helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are. You’ll see what I mean.”Whistler, “Becoming: Part One”, from “Angel” written by Joss Whedon (1998)
As I write this, the world seems to be holding its breath, awaiting a change, or no change, that can tip the balance for good or ill for years to come.
The future may be hopeful. The future may be fearful.
The future will be imperfect.
There is no version of events where the world will wake to a glorious utopia. Likewise, there is no version of events where the world will wake to a post-apocalypse hellscape. These extremes are both as unlikely as the other, and both as unlikely as to be impossible.
It often seems like change comes from Great Men (and why, oh why is it always men?) at the top, or sweeping revolutions and reforms that change everything, all at once.
But change so often isn’t like that. Yes, those big events are momentous and can restore or shatter hope or fear. But change, real change, comes from the small moments in between.
A forest grows at the pace of trees.
A river cuts through rock at the pace of water.
Continents shift and mountains form and fall at the pace of tectonic plates.
Small movements, small changes, working in harmony with each other, create something far greater than the sum of their parts.
If we see the world as divided into “them” and “us”, then there is no way we can win. Because those others, the ones who are Not Like Us, they’re not going anywhere.
Sadly this also means that, whatever may happen overnight, those who hold hate in their hearts are also not going anywhere.
But if we see that there is only “us” on this one planet, and that hate is so often motivated by fear, then we can stand strong in the one power that is, has always been, will always be, stronger than fear.
And we need that now more than ever. It sounds hippy-dippy I know, but Love in this sense isn’t about warm fuzzy feelings. It’s a choice and a commitment. A dedication and a devotion. A vow.
The Druid’s Prayer speaks of the Love of Justice, the Love of All Existences, and the Love of All Goodness.
To speak these words and mean them means to commit yourself to standing in Love with all who bear the forces of hate. To stand up, speak up, and stand together.
This isn’t some vague platitude or a wish for a perfect future. This is a real, lived, commitment to work now, however and wherever we can, to make the future better. Even in a small way. Even if it seems like it doesn’t matter.
Because it does.
The future is imperfect. But it can still be good.
And together, as mighty oaks from tiny acorns, we will rise a forest.
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