Lightening Up in Dark Times

I was asked to write about “lightening up” this week; the week after the election. Tough assignment after one of the most divisive “fights” for office. We got hair pulling and groin grabs… much more than the usual feisty tussle of elections past.

To prep for the task, I re-read Milan Kundera’s, Unbearable Lightness of Being, because I remember liking it and it’s got “lightness” in the name, so, why not?  It reminded me that weightiness in life is of great value and brings about incredible change in the world. Those who carry weights, obligations, responsibilities; those who care about ideals, action’s consequences and own it all, fight for it… well, they’re the ones getting shit done.

When it comes to respect, my preference falls to the weighty. I’d make a terrible Buddhist because I can’t get behind detachment — the ultimate in lightness. This is all we have, this life, and I won’t be benched. But I do respect lightness and the article writing brought clarity about why and how I can lighten up here post election.

I asked myself, what defines the new cultural heaviness for me? What am I carrying that can be set down without setting aside my ideals?

As I wrote about here in the article, Pack Light for Life’s Journey, while the weightiness has great value, many of us carry weights we do not need. I’ve obviously spent too much time in the business world, because I’m always coming back to Stephen Covey’s circle of control, influence and concern.  The country is split and half of them stood with a man that stands against much of what I believe. Heavy. I can influence this, but I can’t control this. I’ve got to pack light.

I’ve got lots of mountains to climb over the next 4 years in my life. Politics and activism (like the real kind, not bitching on Facebook), is going to be something I have to make room for now, and that’s a good thing. But I have chosen to carry the heaviness of concern only in areas I can influence through my actions.

I made my pro-women and immigrant donations, I called my congressman about Bannon, but do not count on me to personally carry the heaviness of racism, misogyny and religious hatred for the next 4 years. Don’t count on me to share every Washington Post Op ed in Facebook. Don’t count on me to hate the kind-hearted people I know who voted for Trump. And seriously, I’m not going to a Michael Moore event, like ever.

For now, I am choosing to set down this load until I need to pick it up. When the shit hits the fan, I promise, I’ll get out my hazmat suit and dive right in. As the parody of the “Then they came for me” poem on Twitter said the other day. “First they came for the Muslims and I said… Not this time Motherfuckers.” That’s me. You can count on me to carry the load because, until then, I will be travelling light, being light and spreading light whenever possible.

 

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