Reckon. Refuse. Respond.


What we thought was reality is not reality.  What we thought was a nightmare is actually reality.  

But, what is it?  Is it the man, Trump, who caused misogyny and xenophobia?  If so, we are merely victims.  Better to understand what his rise to power tells us about human tendencies and structures.  

 For example:

  • the tendency toward greed in a structure that rewards acquisition and dismisses responsibility.
  • the tendency toward self-protection in a confusing class structure in a confusing relationship with 'outsiders.'
  • the tendency toward domination in a woman-demeaning structure. 

Then you can take any tendency structure and work with it.    


Take Greed.  I experience greed whenever an advertisement catches my attention.  I am seized by the hope that an item will resolve my sense of lack.  And yet I can refuse to purchase it.  I can also refuse to be diminished by the gazillion images of young women who apparently have power through seductive beauty.  And I can refuse the pull toward hatred of those whom I do not understand.  


Take outsiders.  We can eliminate them by kicking them out or we can eliminate them by bringing them in. There are countless opportunities to include outsiders.  I can show respect when I give a beggar a dollar.  I can note my reaction to a person who does not share my background or who doesn't look like me, and I can listen when they express their point of view.  These are things that I can do in my everyday life that affect what is nearby. I feel an immediate result, and it is good.  And then there is the more daunting question of what to do to affect the larger world that seems more distant.  Let's start with what is relatively easy, like signing a petition, making a phone call or writing a letter (or many) before we give up on the government.  These things matter in aggregate. Those of us who marched on January 22nd felt the power of being part of something huge, a surge.  

And also, let's each of us focus on one aspect of the bigger problem.  Personally, I'm wrestling with the question of the 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump.  How and why have so many women accommodated to and perpetuated a horribly uneven distribution of power?  I'll be working on this for the rest of my life, and if I do it effectively, it will continue, and someday our society will be guided by matriarchal as well as patriarchal values.  You can expect more blog posts as I wrestle, as well as a theatrical performance exploring the complicated transmission between generations of women.  

I went to the march with my Village Zendo.  Even though we were unable to stay together, we were one body as we walked alone.  Let's keep doing that.  Stand together, walk alone, walk together, stand alone, come back together, and bit by bit the whole world changes. 


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Reader Comments (2)

Very interested in your theatre piece - we need art to 'reckon' so that we will effectively refuse and respond.
Looking forward to how you work with the 53% - who are they what are they protecting? what are their fears?
thank you for reminding me!

January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat O'Hara

Thank you, Roshi for your encouragement. I will pursue those questions!

February 1, 2017 | Registered CommenterElena Taurke

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