Dispatch from the Edges

img_1369I’m feeling a little lost these days.  I’m usually assured about my path.  I remain assured about my purpose.  The path just got harder, and I’m uncertain about how to live my purpose now.

I’m not sure which feels worse~ that my country choose someone completely unfit for our highest office, or that my country is my neighbors, friends, family, and clients.  Maybe even you.  How do I live in this world now, knowing that people I love, respect, and admire have such a completely different reality?

I’m an unabashed idealist.  Not my choice.  Don’t argue with whatever gets handed on the heavenly silver platter.  I believe deeply in the immense power of choice, love, inspiration, and progressive human evolution.  I live the power of creativity.  I have always done what I’ve wanted.  I love and celebrate people who have different nationalities, religions, skin color, and sexual orientation.  Teach me what you know!

I want to be inspired and motivated to be that idealist, to be everything I am and whatever I am called into, by my community, by my country, by my leaders.  If my President does not represent the values that support and inspire me, what happens to the chain of vision and inspiration?  Will another, less evolved value system trickle down?  I’m not giving up.  I’m just not accustomed to fighting for my presence and evolution.

The message from conservatism is that people like me are unrealistic. I will admit to living in an echo chamber.  When I check in, what passes for news or “the real world” feels strident, petty, repetitive and generally spirit-numbing.  Even 160 years ago Thoreau observed the news as just another accident, assassination, or war.  The world I carefully cultivate is real enough and full of service.  That does not make me unworthy or less than people dialed into different worlds with their own echo chambers.

There is also a more subtle message that my values and acceptance of difference make me immoral.  To generically apply “right and wrong” thinking to every situation limits our judgment, precludes other possibilities, and closes our hearts.  My best rule of thumb for ethical decisions is what Ken Wilber calls the Basic Moral Intuition (BMI), that we “protect and promote the greatest depth for the greatest span.”  Generally people get the span part~ we make decisions that favor most people. What’s harder to see is the depth, what Bill McKibben calls Deep Economy.  That behind the plastic bauble from the dollar store lies extensive energy consumption, an exploited teenager in a manufacturing warehouse, and a landfill tomorrow.

My BMI tells me to stop buying that stuff.  It demands that we face environmental problems for the sake of the future, depth and span.  It requires regard for a global population.  It supports the continued legalization of everything controversial because fewer people will be hurt and the social fabric strengthened.  These views constitute a clear morality, even if sometimes troubling.

I’m habitually not afraid.  I’m not really afraid now, just unsure and curious.  Maybe it will all be ok, and someone will shove a copy of the Constitution at DT and teach him how to  behave.  Or maybe the Light will descend like it did for Saul on the road to Damascus, blinding him into being the good guy Paul.  Unlikely.  So I have little threads of unease slowly weaving into fear.  I have no room for fear~ too much to do.

I’m not asking for explanations, advice, consolation, or rationales.  I’ve read more news articles, commentaries from Really Smart People, and your Facebook posts in the last few months than the last few years, trying to understand. I just don’t. I live in a different world that feels a little more isolated.

So, please stay with me while I find my footing in this newly revealed terrain.  I may be coming from a different reality that is just as true, valid, and ethical as yours.  I am more interested in human evolution and authentic expression than fear, status quo, and outdated ways of seeing the world.  You may not always understand me because it’s part of my job on this planet to push the edges, more silver platter stuff.  I’m rooting for all of us. I’m not alone. We are your family and loved ones. My idealism insists~ we are still more alike than different.

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