Do You Have Just One Passionate Cause? Then Make It The World
Go to the trouble of making good trouble.
Be well and good
Many of us activate for our pet causes. We strongly feel so marginalized, or unheard, that we feel the urgent pull to speak out against that which has traumatized us.
That is well and good.
All of us, in whatever way we can, must make “good trouble.”
Do that, but you must do something else, too.
We should never stop thinking about the bigger picture as well. Those with the most diminished voice are the natural beings of the biosphere. Their people suffer impacts too. They are slowly, in some places quickly, being extinguished while we so very often fight among ourselves.
Life on earth — diversity — is nature’s first and foremost rule. We must pay attention to the biosphere that supports humanity. Each of us must become an active advocate. Diversity and biodiversity are foundational for each of us.
For all of Europe and Ukraine, peace matters. But it also matters in your home town, your native soil and your place of belonging among your own family.
The latest IPCC report is terrifying. It is an alarm. It is an alarm yes, about climate injustice, but also about racial injustice, and gender and sexist injustice. About the wealthy versus the poor. Tipping points of the world primarily affect the already deprived, but they affect everybody else as well, and we need an alliance as never before in the history of humanity.
Include more than you exclude
Belonging to Earth, sharing our world with justice and equality is the ultimate inclusion. All are connected: COVID, climate, coercion, class, and conflict.
People across the world are moved by the plight of Ukraine, and the possibility of a cold war with Russia. Or worse, there is the possibility of a hot war and nuclear devastation.
Already, people are divided about some of the politics and talking points concerning the Russia and Ukraine conflict. Already some people are noting that the different rules for some refugees according to their color, class, or nationality. Already some welcome Ukrainians over dissenting, fleeing Russians. It has been noted that trans women are being discriminated against. It has been noted that some men say only young, fit, men should serve on the front lines and not women. Others say the exact opposite, or note that feeding people, providing shelter, giving aid, and so on is a form of service.
I read an article the other day noting that women should never expect full equality with men because men are the soldiers that we hire to fight and die in war. First, that is not true; women often serve. Second, more civilians than soldiers die in every war, because we set up warfare this way in the modern world. Hand to hand combat, even if it did require the sole physical strength of men is rare. Abduction, death, rape, and more is visited upon people of every color and of every sex and gender.
Today’s possible World War is different than all others
The war engulfing Europe right now is different because super powers with nuclear weapons are involved. However, people who suffer, and people we must attend to are not different in value to people in Yemen, Palestine, or North Africa, or in South America, or anywhere on Earth.
This cannot be stressed enough.
People in Africa depend on European grain. Supply chains woes have just begun. Already climate disruption has driven wars and conflict, starvation, disease, and tragedy. Stay aware of these connections.
The biggest tragedy for those of us who study climate science is that any divide and conquer strategy will cost all living beings, not just a few. The costs and resources we pour into war will distract us from attending to one another and to the planet we share.
Do not think the cause to too big
What difference can we make for the world? Use less resources. Don’t buy trendy, or cheap things, that are mere distraction from life itself. Make less trash, and eat less garbage. Cultivate friendships with people of every color, creed, class, and every sex and gender. Cultivate literal, and metaphorical, gardens of diversity.
Spend time in nature, and listen to the voice of the Earth that is calling each of us. To keep mental health and treat trauma, activate. Vote. Demand leadership. Create purpose. Find what you love and defend it. Believe that in ways big and small, we must improve everything. You will feel better for trying your best, always with compassion.
Powerful voices are calling you to be tribal and divided. Listen to truth, but weigh within it why those of influence are trying to motivate you. There may be a media, or a profit motive. They may be fear-mongering for political gain.
Just listen, and be skeptical, when you are asked to participate in fear.
All people want solace, freedom, justice, and just plain peace. We can only have it when collaborating in alliance, even with those we have other disagreements with on many topics.
Find common ground to save common ground.