Brexit. Trump. The West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. Israel/Palestine. Gun control. Orlando. Orlando. Orlando.
As it does often enough, it feels like the world is swallowing itself. And there’s one thing I’ve noticed in what people are saying about what’s going on for them. These are the words I keep hearing as we report in: “I feel powerless.”
Luckily my theology is good enough to know that we are actually powerful beyond measure. But it sure doesn’t feel that way right now.
I know Meck will remind me that spiritual leadership involves navigating between our power and our powerlessness. But these days it feels like too much powerlessness.
It feels as if our politics go on without us, and we’re at a loss for ways to influence change in ways that will better reflect our values. The Democrats sit-in on the floor of the House, yet for many of us, we’re at a loss for what to do.
What is possible at the scale required for the challenges we face?
What can we do to have an impact at a cultural level so there is less suffering?
In times like these, when I’m not sure where to focus or how to move the dial, I look for demonstrated models that have come before. Often I turn to heroes who have exampled using their power for change and today is Bree Newsome day.
On this day last year Bree Newsome, assisted by fellow activist James Tyson, scaled the flagpole outside the Columbia, South Carolina statehouse and took down the confederate flag that had flown there for almost 40 years.
Later, Bree described that taking the flag down, taking politics literally into her own hands, “just feels like hope.”
She said: “I did it because I am free.”
In a year from this day, I hope we will have learned so much more about what is ours to do, in the place where we are, that will help us to feel more hopeful, less powerless. I hope that we will have taken bold actions because we are free.