This small lake is near my home. Surrounding this lake is a system of trails that offer about 4 miles of walking, running, biking, and an opportunity to enjoy nature and decompress from the rapidly shifting world we find ourselves living in. I used to enjoy this place mostly for the first things, as an exercise place outside the gym. More and more I am enjoying this space, and others like it, for the other reason, as a place to get away from the barrage of political and social upheaval that is everywhere. Because no matter how engaged I am every day with what is happening, with what people are protesting, with contacting elected officials, and all the rest, I still need a place to regroup. We all do. Stepping away to catch your breath is as vital as standing tall in our resistance. Stepping away, but then stepping back in to fight another injustice or political upheaval.
The paths throughout this open preserve are sometimes wide and sometimes narrow. They go up hills and down hills and sometimes run flat and even, allowing an opportunity to pace my stride, sometimes walking carefully, sometimes at a brisk pace, sometimes breaking into a jog or even a short sprint. Each different physical action provides me with different benefits-stamina, observation, quickness, awareness. The vistas are refreshing too. Some offer a chance to see for miles in all directions, giving me a good understanding of the different parts of my town and how they fit together to make things work well. Other views are restricted to a few feet on all sides, allowing me to only react to what is right there, right now. And there are people too. Always other people sharing the same spaces, breathing the same air, thinking their own thoughts. We almost always exchange a short greeting in passing, maintaining an aura of compatibility in a world so torn by stark ideological differences. Out here, we have no politics. We have no rancor. We have only these moments of reflection and rejuvenation and movement.
As I walked (and sometimes ran) here this morning I began to view my morning exercise as analogous to the struggle and resistance I am a part of, that so many of us are a part of. The peaks and valleys are not so different than the highs and lows of political struggle and change, because for every low point we must pass through, ahead we see that there is another peak to stand upon, another win against injustice on the horizon. Every narrow path we walk is like a journey through unfamiliar rules or regulations, but with persistence and forward momentum an opening appears, a meadow of understanding is found, and we discover many new pathways that will lead us to our next gathering point, our next action. When I walk I am reminded of the slow, steady pace of reclaiming victories once won. When I run it is like the rapid deployment of social justice against a serious blow to our shared morality.
Our resistance today against a government in place without a mandate, against actions that have no majority of public acceptance or support, against a wall of lies and purposeful deception, is not a resistance that can be victorious in a short time. It is a resistance of months and possibly years and we need to remember that our wins will not come easy and our success will not come overnight. Ours will be a struggle waged on many fronts, by many people, each making a positive difference in their own way.
We are not all able to immerse ourselves in the daily news and innuendo. We are not all able to march. We are not all able to run for local offices or write opinion pieces or donate money. But there are more ways to resistance than just those. As important as attacking the unjust agenda of the current administration and their twisted minions is the ability to change attitudes of those around us every day. Perhaps this is even more important in some ways, this challenge to shift people’s point of view, to reframe to human experience in a way the outshines their alternative facts and sheds light on the darkest of their ambitions so we can truly see things for what they are.
As I reentered my neighborhood today I was treated with an example of this subtle subversion, this homegrown attempt of someone to make a difference. Maybe not a difference in current governmental shifts, but a difference in the way we think. A simple statement…Hope…to bring a smile and a moment of reflection to anyone passing by who notices. This rock caught my eye. It caught my intentions. And there were more.
Strewn along the popular pathways and sidewalks in this typical suburban neighborhood were more moments of inspiration.
Reminders that diversity is important. It’s what makes us stronger.
Reminders that compassion is who we are and kindness is better than scapegoating.
That peace is better than war, but that peace demands truth.
That no one can destroy your values, not even a president, when you stand tall and stand for equality and justice.
And that yes, we can make a difference. Indeed, these messages of inspiration made a difference to me. And so it is true. One person at a time, subversive ideas like these can take over the conversation and lead towards consideration and cooperation in creating the world we deserve, the world we know is right. People on the left, people on the right, people in the middle, we all know these simple words are more than just words. They are our lives. And they are worth fighting for and worth our time and resistance against the forces of darkness currently running our country into the ground.
So my message is this: take time to recharge; evaluate the best path of resistance for yourself; practice subtle subversion all over the place. This is our moment to stand up, to resist. We will win.
#subtlesubversion #rechargeyourresistance #redbluepurpleus #resistance #standtall