Where do we go from here? And by that I mean, for those of us who have chosen to stand, now what? We’ve signed a petition or two. We’ve posted articles. We’ve marched. We’ve demonstrated. We’ve prayed. We’ve donated, money or goods or time.
But now what? A thought I can’t quite block out while reading yet another article from the hidden away safety of my four walls – I’m pretty dang sure that those determined to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline are not focusing their efforts, time, attention, and primary campaign on Facebook.
Yes, the Internet is a great tool to raise awareness, to spread the word, and we can see the groundswell of support thanks to all that publicity. That’s fantastic. But at what point does focusing our efforts on social media become a distraction in the process of social change – A tool, not THE tool? Any good project manager will tell you, the media plan is only one small part of what has to happen. Are we striking out against the leaves, instead of the roots? If that’s all we’re doing, we may be tilting at very real dragons with toothpicks of tinfoil and swords of no substance. How do we step beyond preaching to an ever-growing yet screen-shackled choir?
Where is the money coming from? Who are the supporters, the influencers, the wo(men) behind the mask? Where are the voters? Where is the power, and how and by whom is it being leveraged? What is happening on the ground? What is happening below the surface? Who is making the decisions? And how can knowing all of that inform our next steps?
Now that we’re aware, now that we’re stirred up and have rallied support from people around the globe, we can’t let this wave of enthusiasm die away due to lack of concerted direction. How can we build on what has developed? If We the People want to take back our country, our environment, our economy, our planet, our politics, our own personal power – if we are ready to step up and say Victim No More, I will STAND – this ill-conceived travesty is a great place to start.
The process has already begun, if we can keep up the momentum. We cannot let
discouragement or temporary failures stop us. As those who have stood throughout history have long known, standing up doesn’t always mean you win. But it DOES mean you can take back your pride, your self-esteem, your sense of self-worth – knowing that you did all you could, regardless of outcome. And perhaps, just perhaps, we may find this place of nonattached, nonviolent strength may be the most powerful position of all.
Who are the organizers among us? Who have walked these steps? Where has nonviolent protest and resistance successfully made inroads in our world? Who walked with King? Who has learned the ways of Gandhi? Where is the Harriet Tubman of today, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Women, rise up! Elders, rise up! Warriors of the Beauty Way, rise. We NEED you – now is the time. Come forward, come forth.
Change CAN happen from the ground up. We know that. What lessons have been learned from previous successes and failures? What has been proven Best Practice? Our lives may have been a little too easy of late, and we have grown soft – but we carry this knowledge, this know-how, deep within the bones, deep within our histories, deep within our minds, deep within our hearts.
Where are those who know, and those who can lead? You are among us, already. We can feel you. We need you now. We need your knowledge, your wisdom, your strength, your courage. Come forth!!! Lead the way!!!!!
So many are ready to follow.
In the words of a special teacher: “Do not fear the fire, or your strength, or the hands of our ancestors. Wear it. Pick it up. Carry it. It isn’t always gentle.”
Who will take up the fallen flags of our mothers, our fathers? Who will step forward? Who will lead?
(C) 2016 Mary Batson, FrontPorchRambles.com
All rights reserved, especially the one to protect our mother and her sacred spaces.