I met with a colleague this morning; she’s launching a freelance career in marketing and communications. We talked about our Be the Change dinner discussion series, and what we hope to accomplish. I’ve thought a lot about how hard it is to communicate in concrete terms, but I came a little closer this morning.
I often feel overwhelmed and helpless when I think about all the problems confronting the world today. When I feel that way, I don’t do anything. Yet I know there is a lot of power in doing something, anything. In fact, the First Unitarian Church in Des Moines is hosting a class called “The Power of Just Doing Stuff” right now. I’ve heard it’s great.
But there’s more than that to Be the Change dinner discussions. Most of my friends are passionate about one thing or another. I’m interested in a lot of issues, but I’ve had to narrow it down to social justice. That’s still really big, but it’s easier to get my arms around than climate changeguncontrollocalfooddeathpenaltyhealthcarereform.
Then there’s the fear associated with addressing social justice issues. Will anything result from my work? Will I alienate people? Will I endanger my job? We’ve got to look at those fears and figure out whether they’re real and what’s at risk?
Once I know what’s at risk, or think I know, I have to decide whether I’m willing to take that risk. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. So be it.
And finally, what if I can’t see any results of my work? Throwing starfish back into the sea can be tiring, especially when there’s no way of seeing whether they live or die. So I hang on to Rachel Naomi Remen‘s words, “What if what you’re doing right now, is exactly what the world needs at this moment?”
”Hope and Courage to Be the Change” will be the topic for Thursday, February 6, 2014. Register for any one event that includes a healthy dinner of fresh, seasonal ingredients for $30 at Christopher’s Restaurant, 2816 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines (Wheelchair Accessible). Pay by cash, check or credit card the night(s) of the event(s).