“Non Violent Action”. I came across that phrase today, quietly found in an article in the midst of all the news of violence and political dystopia.
How do I respond? I speak up, I voice my opinions, I keep informed. People have invited me to march, write letters, sign petitions. But is that really engaging me, really making a difference?
I believe I can do more.
I try to give back to my community. I may not be able to change the world, but I can change myself, and help others. And when we learn to work together, we change ourselves, our neighborhood, and, eventually, the world.
I’m helping to start a non-profit foundation to improve local parks. Working with others, maybe we will build a trail, help someone to experience nature, find some inner peace, connect with the world.
I’m helping to set up an art gallery to support local artists and bring art to the heart of my town. We are teaching art to kids, and planning a mural to brighten the downtown. I need to make art, too. Creating is part of me, and essential to a balanced, healthy life.
I’m helping other master gardeners in a variety of community projects, teaching each other and others about gardening and scientific inquiry and curiosity.
I play in a community band. We help each other be better musicians, and we’re playing at a cancer charity event this summer. Every week, we play and laugh and build a better community.
There’s a groundswell of community engagement going on. People volunteering, initiating projects and events, and helping others better their lives. They cheer me on and I cheer them on. Together, we are moving ahead and taking non violent action to change the world, one person at a time.
Neal Lemery 6/5/2017