Will history determine that 2016 was a year of balancing a scale or tipping it dangerously close to the fire?
And so it is with me and the rest of humanity.
Perhaps this is why the desert drew me in over and over this year. I know the desert well. I grew up in the desert — both in life and metaphorically. The seemingly endless light that heated the soil beneath my feet and cast mirages before me was both a gift and a trick. Sorting candor from myth consumed much of my time.
What are ways that we can give without membership, dues, meetings, committees, and landing on the mailing lists of the never ending mailers thick with dynamic photos of sad faced children, seniors citizens, dogs, and panda bears?
Paralleling a planet in flux, American voters (and European voters, for that matter) are like the Arctic — in meltdown. Conspiracists, nationalists, and folks swaddled in a coat of angry fear, won the day. That bottle of champagne in my refrigerator remains uncorked.
Fast forward to today’s social media and current state of humanity’s soul, we now have a plague of contrary people behaving as trolls and things that go bump in the night. It’s as if a thin-shelled pod opened inside that voodoo shop and millions of troll spores ejected into the air attaching to the already angry and disenfranchised soul of lost citizens.
How do we, as volunteers, recognize burnout in ourselves and others? The symptoms include being tired, stressed, resentful and cranky. And the worst symptom is when you no longer get that feel-good benefit from volunteering. When you ask yourself, “Is all this effort worth my time and energy?” you have already burned out.
The radius of change is as vast as the cosmic radius of the universe in which we spin each second. A natural instinct to be a force for good is given to us a birth, and it is how we nurture that natural instinct that is either the drop of water that becomes the ocean, or the drop of water that dries on the arid sand.
Our efforts require personal mining ops. We must dig into our hearts, our souls, and spend more time reflecting in the mirror as opposed to smartphones hooked to selfie sticks.
The nuance of legato vs staccato is lost in conversation. Reasonable thinking has fallen out of tune. Sour notes meant to distract is the current composition.
Will the music die? Will the system collapse?
It was a circular life moment filled with many spokes in life’s wheel. It was the magic that I wish we could each return to understanding our commonality as opposed to fighting over our differences.
Unlike our more adorable and endangered sea otter, vultures have a public relations issue. Admiring vultures is an acquired appreciation. Their bald heads with massive beaks that can tear through a thick hide, and their food source — dead animals — is an unlikely point of polite conversation. It’s a image issue.
There are people, historically and presently, who for lack of a better phrase, were born under a bad sign. I’ve known some of them personally. For one reason or the other, they seem to have never developed a conscience that allowed them to judge good from bad.