It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of the world.
For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet, a destructive one, without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small imperfect stones to the pile.
I have learned other things: One is the futility of expecting anyone, including ourselves to be perfect. People who go about seeking to change the world, to diminish suffering, to demonstrate any kind of enlightenment, are often as flawed as anybody else. Sometimes more so. But it is the awareness of having faults, I think, and the knowledge that this links us to everyone on Earth, that opens us to courage and compassion. It occurs to me that often many of those I deeply love are flawed. They might actually have said or done some of the mean things I’ve felt, heard, read about, or feared. But it is the struggle with the flaw, surprisingly endearing, and the going on anyhow, that is what I cherish about them. Sometimes our stones are, to us, misshapen, odd. Their color seems off. Their singing … comical and strange. Presenting them, we perceive our own imperfect nakedness, but also, paradoxically, the wholeness, the rightness, of it. In the collective vulnerability of presence, we learn not to be afraid.Alice Walker, from Anything We Love Can Be Saved with thanks to Steve Marston
from Heron Dance -
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