Man oh man, if there were ever a week we needed to get grounded with a Rock Out before heading into the world, it is this week! We started this fledgling year with brutal war in Gaza and brutal economic hardship here at home. And everywhere we look, it is getting harder and harder to do the work we are all doing to make our communities healthy, vibrant, humane places to live.
As money woes make things tough,
as the workload increases for those in human services,
as fewer people attend artistic performances,
and as everything seems to swirl around us, consuming us,
some days it is an inordinate chore to keep our heads up and do what needs to be done.
And while this little piece does not have a wild beat to get you moving, it does have one of the only antidotes to the fear that is consuming so many people who are doing community work around the globe these days.
Love. Friendship. Kindness. That is what will get us through all this.
Poets have spun yarns about the power of love and friendship since the dawn of humanity. It is that power that made an audience misty-eyed last week, when my friend Casey DeLorme read his poem “Labels” aloud to a group.
That power is the reason we pass around videos like this story of the honest-to-goodness friendship between a dog and an elephant. Go to the link, watch the video. And then try to find a good reason why you don’t pick up the phone and call all the “competing” organizations in your community. Try to find a good reason not to invite them to work together to address whatever it is your mission is about.
Today as you listen to the news, you will hear that the jobless rate continues to plunge and may hit double digits in the next few months. Tomorrow I will be posting another note from Nora Lester Murad, describing what life is like for regular people just trying to live their lives in Palestine these days. There seems to be no end in sight for bad, bad, bad news.
The antidote is right in front of you. Friendship. Love. Kindness.
When you spend time with those who also care passionately about the work you are trying to do in your community, you will find an energy together you could never find alone. When you immerse yourself in working with others to build strength for your community (rather than focusing inward on organizational survival), you will find yourself saying joyfully about your new-found friends the words Casey DeLorme uses at the end of his poem – “Just. One. More. Spoonful.”
Have a great Monday and a great week, all!
Heads up – I will begin posting excerpts of The Pollyanna Principles here at the blog this Wednesday. Stay tuned! (And many thanks to all who responded to my request last week regarding just how to do that posting!)
If you are new to the Monday Morning Rock Out, you can find previous Rock Outs here – enjoy!