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A Challenge

by on June 11, 2020

A Challenge

A Forum for Guest Speakers

Last evening I received a very powerfully written piece in response to my opening of this site as a forum for readers. I sincerely hope you will read it and be inspired to write your own post and send it to me.

Each of us has contacts outside this group. Please consider passing along these very meaningful posts as they come in. My request is reproduced below:

These past few weeks have been packed with fundamental issues which have gone poorly addressed for some time. Each of you saw the impact, as far as New Zealand, the writer of that piece on personal experiences with autism had. I’m hoping you will do the same with issues of concern to you, send it to me, and I will mask you as I did the earlier writer if you wish. Marco


May Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“I truly believe that compassion provides the basis of human survival, the real value of human life, and without that there is a basic piece missing.” ~ the Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

Thank you, COVID-19 for exposing deeply rooted and long ignored injustice and inequality, and for showing us who truly essential workers are. Thank you for putting the world on pause so we can appreciate racial, gender, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities. I believe that the Great Pause has given us the time to be aware and the momentum to act.

I challenge the reader to let actions speak louder than words. We do not need another corporate email on solidarity without action. So, what can you do?

1. Recognize that great people are average people.

2. Listen. We have two ears and one mouth.

3. Do what you can to better your community.

4. Participate in the political system – vote, send emails, attend town halls.

For some, the capacity for activism and community service may mean staying aware and questioning the stream of propaganda from all sides. Others can volunteer at a local community non-profit for a few hours each month. If you can afford to donate to a charity or be selective on what goods you buy, choose those from sources you think are ethical. For others, community service can be a career.

There is a tale of Two Americas – we are waking up to overt racism and the difference between the Black/Brown and the White America in police brutality, but it does not stop there. We cannot fix our communities – that means helping our neighbors – without recognizing that systematic disparities like food deserts, poverty, unequal access to healthcare services must be fixed. The tale of Two Americas includes urban centers and rural areas – both suffer immense disparities in access to basic services like food or the ability to deliver a healthy baby. Invest in education, invest in women, invest in mental health, invest in services that help average and working people meet their needs. I challenge you to go to any U.S. metropolitan area, look at mansions, then look across the street at run-down apartments and not feel a sense of disgust. Is this the Great America we want to return to? Because I do not.

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  1. Thank you, Writer. I am particularly impressed by your enumeration of specific and productive actions we can take to address the now undeniable issues you point out. Unless we actually move to address and rectify these problems they will become more severe in a very short time.

    Thank you for speaking out.


    • From Writer: Thank you Marco, I fundamentally believe it’s important to empower people, to start the change momentum with small steps that more sustainable, and to set reasonable goals. In my professional role I talk with people wanting to lose weight – sometimes our first goal is just to not gain, then we work on small sustainable lifestyle changes.


  2. Steve permalink

    Good job.

    I am in total agreement with anyone advocating listening as a step for making things better. We’ve allowed too many facets of our daily lives to steer us toward binary thought which completely ignores the complexities of life. The more we listen to new ideas and remain respectful in our responses to those ideas regardless and the individuals who present them whether we agree or not, the better.


    • From Writer: Thank you Steve, I agree with you and have to remind myself not to get caught-up scrolling through inflammatory headlines. I think Why? is one of the best questions – but like you say, only if the question is followed by genuine listening, which is not always comfortable or easy.


  3. Dana permalink

    To the writer: You have said so much in so few words, and I agree with Marco this is a powerful piece. It should be widely distributed.

    This outbreak has exposed injustices and inequalities, but the idea that “we’re in this together” sounds really trite. While none of us is immune to a novel virus and that may speak to the “togetherness,” countless are basically alone and without adequate (if any) emotional or financial support.

    Thanks for mentioning essential workers. I’ve been in close contact with around 500 people per shift at a full-time job over these past few months. It’s been interesting and enlightening to say the least. I often feel unappreciated, but I’ve tried to view my job as community service so to avoid feeling resentful. Engaging every human with an attitude of compassion is more essential today than ever.


  4. From the Writer: Hi Dana,

    Thank you for your response and for continuing to work as an essential worker. Yes, I feel like our society prioritizes the wrong things. Hopefully we have learned that it is often marginalized populations we cannot live without.


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