Martin Luther King’s famous quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” is right for this moment and something we can carry with us every day because we always need to be working for love and justice.
Our Election Day is November 3. As this video beautifully points out, “Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Who we want to be is on the ballot.” These things are not just on the ballot November 3. They are on the ballot of our lives every day.
It is pointed out by many that this is a long-term struggle to regain the health of our democracy . . . and our planet. Corruption, corporate power, greed and control, white supremacy, racism, wealth inequality, environmental destruction and injustice all around will not end no matter who our next president is.
I believe we are all coming to grips with the reality that every one of us is a citizen of this country and our planet, and citizenship requires involvement in some way—for the health of our community, our local region, city and state, our nation, our Earth. We must choose what we can do that fits our temperament, our time, our interests and our skills. We must choose to be active citizens.
I want to return to what Rebecca Solnit teaches about hope and action.
“Listen, I know most of you are heartsore and weary, and the past four years have been a long rough road, and those of us in the west can find dismay just by looking out the window today, [during the California fires] but don’t stop now. The election matters, what we do matters, including for climate change, and we can do some things to address the many layers of suffering around us, and if we can we must. . . . We have more to do, and doing it is itself a way to assuage despair, misery, fear. Hope is a discipline, Marianne Kaba said, and it matters most when it’s hardest. Right now it doesn’t mean envisioning rosy futures. It means knowing that the worst case scenarios are not inevitable, and every day we are choosing together what direction we head in.
"It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not a belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. . . . Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes—you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting."
"Justice is what love looks like in public."
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