I find that I’m getting a bit bored and impatient with all the fear-mongering going on. Currently, I’m subscribed to four newspapers – one national, one regional, one local and another in my neighborhood. While they differ in scope, what I find they have in common is that “news” is only about who has killed whom and where, how and when. Occasionally there is an article about something “neutral” like tornadoes, floods, volcano eruptions or solar flares, but mostly “news” is about people being hateful to other beings. When I tune into the television or radio, the pattern remains the same. It’s almost as if we are collectively addicted to fear.
I’m tired of the strategy of stirring fears so that people will act. FOX News is consummately skilled at this, but progressives are adept at creating worst-case scenarios as well. The recent election cycle is a good example of this. I’m coming to believe this may not be the best strategy in engaging people’s hearts and minds. At least not in the long run.
One of the best gifts of being in my position is that I get to see and hear about the amazing and wonderful work in which our alumni are engaged. You are rethinking farming to include the entire ecosystem, you are insuring that children are getting access to good healthcare and education, you are in the White House advocating for fairness and equity.
You are working on media justice, running LGBTQ centers in rural America, ending torture, bringing life back to cities like Detroit, telling Stories of Stuff and cosmetics
, working for peace in Israel and immigrant rights here in California. You are people of all shapes, colors, backgrounds and strategies. You have fresh ideas, bold visions and deep dedication to being on purpose. You care.
That’s the news I want to read, hear and see. And I am quite awed and grateful for your work.
Perhaps gratitude is a medicine for an addiction to fear. I can’t simultaneously hold onto my despair about the world while contemplating and honoring what each of you does on a day to day basis. My gratitude is boundless – I am consistently amazed by what comes across my desk – you are an astonishing group of leaders.
There is a Native American parable about two wolves. One is the wolf of fear and the other is the wolf of love (or gratitude in this case). The wolf that grows is the one who is fed. We get to choose in every moment which wolf we pay attention to and feed.
Let’s remember to feed the wolf of gratitude. Let’s be thankful for those around us who are working for justice, fairness and transformation. Let’s remember to tell them how grateful we are for their presence in our lives and in the world.
I am grateful for you. As we move toward the end of 2010, I thank you for making a difference, for being a part of Rockwood. It means the world to me.
From my heart to yours,