“If you think being small stops you from being effective, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.” –Thomas M. Jones
The words “never let a good crisis go to waste,” date back to Winston Churchill, when he made the case that the United Nations would not have existed without the horror of World War II.
The Blitzkrieg was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. At one point, the citizens of London were bombed for 56 straight days and nights, as the Germans attempted to break the spirit of the British. What happened instead is notable. Far from being broken, the population rallied and hardened. Because they’d endured that crisis, there came a steely resolve in the Brits that ultimately allowed the allies to win the war.
The thing about this pandemic and these racial protests is that they already have created the opportunity for huge change. We have momentum and a growing groundswell of support. We have the incentive to change what we want changed, and we have opportunity. These are scary and turbulent times. It almost seems like the world is coming to an end. What better time for change?
In “regular” life, we don’t want to risk change. It makes us uncomfortable; it is disruptive. We might regret the outcome of change, leaving us worse off than before. So we avoid change. Here’s a reality check: this time is already incredibly uncomfortable! It couldn’t be more disruptive! We are trying to figure out how to live, how to be happy, how to manage some ridiculously restrictive future. As far as the outcome being worse, I think we’re at a pretty good low point. It’s bad now. It’s time for change.
So what does change look like? Personally? Globally? What possibility can we hold for ourselves and our future without being delusional snowflakes? Churchill knew the change he wanted to create. He wanted his country to come out of this crisis stronger, determined and resourceful. He did more than just hope; he directed change.
Can we use this time to create the change we want on a personal and on a global level? Let’s have the courage to picture the world we want to live in. We’ve got to conceive of it, picture it on all levels in order to go about creating it. In order to have an effective vision we need to refer to our ideals. Who do we want to be at this stage of our evolution?
Clearly, on a spiritual level, we are all one. I used the analogy: when I was a kid, I pictured Martians coming down to earth and visiting. As they watch our prejudiced and racist behavior they are very confused. They don’t understand this behavior at all. To them, we are exactly the same! They see no difference, and they are right! It doesn’t matter what flavor or color we are, we are all crayons in the same box. We need to get over this mistreatment and unfairness, and start dealing with the problems we have in common: health care, poverty, world hunger and oppression. It is each of our individual missions to hold a vision of who we aspire to be.
The tools of creation are simple. We need vision. We need trust and belief, because they are tools for creating. We need cooperation and community, because together we are stronger. We need action plans and small achievable goals. Don’t try to do everything. Just do something. If we put enough somethings together, we’ll get everything done.
Try it today. Take sixty seconds to think about what you can do. Time it for one minute and think about what action you can take right now. Is it donating? Is it marching? Is it engaging in constructive conversation to deal with the inequities we’re seeing? Do one thing today and you are suddenly part of the solution instead of the problem. You’ll like yourself better, and you’ll stop confusing the Martians.