Dear 2017, Dear Those Who Are Fearful, Dear Progressives, Dear Evolutionaries, Dear Exhausted Veteran Activists, Dear Energized New Activists, Dear Woke White Folks, Dear Seeking Souls, Dear Confused Minds, Dear Pissed-off Disenfranchised, Dear Bleeding Hearts,
It’s going to be OK.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s going to get uglier and more arduous. You may not live to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s going to be OK.
I‘ve come to remind you that history isn’t linear. Human evolution has never moved in one straight line forward or upward. It’s a roller coaster, a squiggly line, a road that winds through widely varying terrain and wildly changing seasons. It’s a spiral staircase – you may come around to what feels like the same place as before, but if you look out the window you’ll notice the view is slightly different. Sometimes we humans fall off the spiral staircase or out of the roller coaster car. Sometimes we lie battered on the ground for a long while before we get back up.
I’ve come to remind you that things have been much worse than they are in 2017 – many times, over many centuries. Scores of your ancestors felt the way you do now – that the human race is dying out, the world coming to an end. Things have also been much better than they are in 2017, many times. And I’ve come to tell you you’re not crazy – that indeed it’s possible for things to be even better than they’ve ever been. Ever.
That’s why we need you. You hold the vision that bridges us across time. You possess the imagination necessary to get us there. You may feel embattled, even outnumbered. You are not outnumbered, you were just born early. You are not alone – not now, not ever. You belong to a lineage that spans millennia. This is not about 2017, or the next four years, or the next decade. This is about the next 100, 500, 5,000 and 50,000 years. You are beloved.
I’ve come to give you advice, since you are so precious and vital to what we now know in hindsight. In 2017, humanity is in the midst of a slow motion shift. I repeat: you’re not crazy for feeling it in your bones and your heartbeat, yet it’s critical you understand the nature of this shift. You are so caught up in the Doing and the What. It’s time to move into the Being and the How. Your striving is not useless and your work should not be abandoned, but what’s just as important is your Being. There is nothing more radical than sanity amidst madness, kindness amidst violence, calm within chaos – this is the next step. Having integrity in word and deed, holding the vision despite constant assault, cultivating clarity, practicing curiosity – these are the requirements. Caring fiercely for your stamina and wellness – this is a necessity. Being The Change is not a cliché, it’s the only path.
I admire your resilience and your courage. Be proud. I marvel at your many successes and triumphs. Celebrate them. I am in awe of your strength and integrity. Honor them. Smile with the knowing that transcends your own lifetime. Relax into truths that transcend your own mind and your own two hands. Witness the world – and your life – from 30,000 feet up and 1,000 years out.
I’ve come to tell you it will be OK. And to thank you. We all – over here – deeply thank you.