All of my life I have struggled with a sinister voice within my brain that insists I am inadequate. Now that I am 74 years old, that voice has arisen with renewed energy, warning me that I am “too old,” and that it is time to preserve what little strength and resources remain to me. Well-meaning people shake their heads at our “Tiny House on Wheels” and at our Quixotic-seeming hopes and dreams. Were I to heed these inner and outer voices I would end up in a small apartment nestled close to shopping centers and medical centers. I would venture out only in the fairest of weather for the most modest of errands.
Here is the truth of the matter: The battle for the fate of the Earth and the Heart of Humanity has been raging for decades, indeed for centuries, and it has now reached a critical point. Bigotry, ignorance, and greed are threatening to engulf all of life in the shadow of death. We who have been given the gift of Elderhood must join this fight with what gifts of wisdom, experience, and encouragement we possess. We will not likely be called to man literal barricades, but our voices, our presence, our work, our lifestyles, and our willingness to sacrifice security and comfort for the sake of our people will be asked of us as surely as it will be asked of younger revolutionaries.
Culture tries to convince me that I am impotent, but nothing could be farther from the truth. To my fellow “older people” let me speak to that part of us which longs to live out our remaining time with the strength of purpose our years have given us. They tell us that, because of our age, our lives have become expendable. Well, let’s make the most of that idea. If we are expendable, what in the world are we holding on to? What need for self-protection is there? If our death awaits outside the door, why do we remain barricaded inside, stoking the fireplace and guarding our treasures? Let’s fling open the doors and ride outside to meet our fate in a manner that punctuates our life with an exclamation mark rather than a minuscule period.
And if we elders ride out to our fate, whatever it may be, what will you my younger friends be doing? Will you ride with us? Will you add the power, energy, and strength of youth and vigor to the cause? Will you give your lives to this most important of purposes? What else do you have to do that is more important?
What exactly, you ask, shall we do? Well … first we ask the question, “How can I live, from my deepest heart, for the healing of the Earth today?” We ask it moment by moment, day after day, until it becomes embedded in our consciousness. The clear presence of the question itself, will bring the answers and guide us to actions, unique for each of us, yet each action will fit together in a vast pattern that will transform culture, humanity, and the Earth.
Some resource links for encouragement and inspiration:
Rivera Sun – a poet, artist, and novelist whose deep commitment to nonviolent resistance and revolution is communicated in all her works.
Dandelion Salad – essays by various resistance voices that cover a wide range of topics and points of view
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