Aspects of West Point resurrect themselves at odd moments. I’m flashing back to Recondo, a 10 day patrol between the 1st and 2nd years during the “best summer of my life.” Besides the survival dinner with a live chicken (inspiration for vegetarianism), poncho rafts, Recondo run, hand-to-hand combat, slide-for-life and I-beam walk across Lake Popolopen, there were patrols, requiring navigation skills to complete missions. How might this squad move from here to there and accomplish its task?
After the historic Women’s Marches, the work of making our voices heard continues. Two weeks post-inauguration, issuance of executive orders are matched by responding protests. The trick now is staying focused and motivated. Just like wandering through the semi-wilderness around Camp Buckner, NY, it will take some tools to navigate the brambles, fortitude to deal with unexpected cliffs, and patience with trip hazards. (Watch your step. Confirm we’re heading the right way. Read the map.)
Here are some steps to identify a path, create a system and move the process forward. There are plenty of resources already available. It may be better to stick with a few options, instead of perusing all that exist. The ones cited here may help develop a plan, including setting reminders and crafting messages.
Where are you headed? Discern before moving. What is your one thing? Focus on your interests or share your expertise. Out of the myriad issues, what really aggravates you? What topic is most likely to generate a soapbox moment? About what can you speak with authority? Do you have a personal experience? You don’t have to be the expert in immigration, homeless, hunger, etc. there are plenty of problems to go around. Divide and conquer.
Before charging off into the woods, set your course. Reacting to bright, shiny objects (executive orders) or playing whack-a-mole with issues that pop up will dilute focus. The barrage of actions can distract, destabilize or discourage. Plan your work and then work your plan. If you don’t know where to start, this site will give a starting point: http://whatdoidoabouttrump.com/make-a-plan/ It will walk you through the process of identifying your focus and frequency of actions.
What? Craft you message, remembering that stories are more memorable than statistics. Find information about issues here: http://thesixtyfive.org/theIssues
When? Set reminders using apps, calendars or boomerang messages https://www.indivisibleguide.com/action-calendar
How? If you plan to contact your representative, calling or writing a letter gets more attention than emails or texts https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/us/politics/heres-why-you-should-call-not-email-your-legislators.html
Find your representative by entering your home zip code http://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep
As Cynthia Bourgeault says, “This is Wisdom’s hour.” Set your azimuth towards a destination of wholeness. Find a map to guide your steps. Stop frequently to confirm you’re heading in the right direction and that your actions make sense. Embrace still points to restore calmness and release frustrations.
Make your bottom line about treating others with kindness and respect—no talking points needed.
“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. ”― Rachel Naomi Remen
Check out this editorial, “The Patriotic Response to Populism” in Bloomberg View for some background reading:
© Joan S Grey, 3 Feb 2017
IndexCardCure™: living life intentionally