Inspiration AND Subversion
Hello, Amazing Human Being!
My Father-In-Law (and love), Dan, once gave me an amazing affirmation: That I'm a perfect blend of silly and serious (that may be a paraphrase). Just like I love being silly, I love giving encouragement and inspiration. Positivity may come naturally, but it is also a practice for me. I've gotten flack before from people who haven't seen my more melancholy, serious or present-to-lament side, that mourns for injustice, weeps at broken dreams and broken hearts, or is present to pain. The reality is, inspiring people my "modus-operandi," and baked into that recipe is a heavy dose of subversion.
Inviting people to be their full, authentic selves also comes with a cost. We all capitulate, we all mail it in, and our desire to "just get by" must be addressed not only in persons but in the systems we co-create. Jesus led a movement of love, yet this same rabbi turned the tables (literally) of systems of power and greed in his time.
Have you noticed there's an election going on? :)
This election has amped up a lot of emotions (including my own) with just how bad the status quo can be, along with how icky the proposed solutions to address. Ultimately, what I'm writing about today is BIGGER than this election, and whatever bubbles you filled in, the revolution we're building is MORE and BEYOND any single government entity or organization. Nevertheless, it is a revolution. Like all revolutions, being unabashedly authentic and standing for a world that works for all WILL poke boxes and WILL rock boats.
I believe in PEOPLE. I know many amazing people that happen to have narrow and confining world views that compartmentalize love (which, cannot be tamed). These amazing people may belong to SYSTEMS which have both beauty and brokenness built into the organization. Now, we'll ALL create systems, and we ALL belong to systems, but how can we be subversive to create new possibilities for our neighbors amidst the systems we live in???
I have some ideas.
1) Be unabashedly you and invite others to do the same. I've noticed how certain communities can handle mediocre participation but CANNOT handle too much curiosity, too much authenticity. This watered-down expression and connection may "work" for many of us, but I can promise you it's WAY more fun to be yourself (ALL of you) regardless of what your own thoughts or the thoughts of others would say.
2) Audit the systems you are in and examine your own participation. What about your teams, groups and organizations add value to your life and to others and inspires you? Conversely, where have you seen hurt and fallout? Does your participation align with your values? Does this or that group have means and ends that align with your values? Who are you being COLLECTIVELY and what needs to shift?
3) Shine a light on what's wrong with a goal to make it right.
I have had times where I am merely cynical and resigned (which helps no one). I have also done more than my fair share of AVOIDING conflict and perpetuating sins by omission. When my goal is to HELP others, creating tension and space for conflict is a healthy and important thing.
It's time we embrace a both/and of inspiration AND subversion. We're not sugar-coating optimists, we're dreamers AND doers with a heart full of LOVE for others.
In the midst of a crazy election day and lots of work to do in our world, our country, and our own communities, let's take responsibility and take action.
Where are you adding subversion to meet your inspiration?
Can't wait to hear!
With joyful provocation,
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Thanks for reading! Please comment, like, and share to your heart's content! :) <3 -Ben