Lately I have found myself saying to myself and others “Be the change you want to see in the world.“ I believe it to be a great and eloquent quote. However, I believe it can be overdone. Go, go, go. Do, do, do. There is so much to do and so much to improve.
How do we allow ourselves to be satisfied while also pushing for betterment and change? Ultimately, how do we stay engaged in a world filled with so much pain, frustration, and unfairness while still allowing ourselves to be silly, joyful, and grateful?
There is a picture of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X during their only meeting. It is impressive to me that they are laughing. One might assume that those two people with so many heavy issues on their minds during their only meeting might have had a conversation that was only serious. It is a testament to their wisdom and effectiveness that they were able to laugh during such fraught times.
It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is not excusing the negative behavior to acknowledge the positive actions of a person who does a lot of harmful things. It does not mean you cannot take things seriously if you can also laugh during trying times.
You may have picked up that I am someone who sees a lot of gray area in life. While that is indeed true, I really also appreciate the nonverbal simplicity of the Yin – Yang symbol. It shows us that rather than judging things and people on a linear continuum of polar opposites, life and people are more like a swirling mix of things that defy absolutes.
So regarding my question of:
How do we stay engaged in a world filled with so much pain, frustration, and unfairness while still being silly, joyful, and grateful?
My answer is:
We can stay engaged in a world filled with pain, frustration, and unfairness BY still being silly, joyful, and grateful.
Buck Schall, Board of Trustees