Early in 2011 I got the message that 2011 would be the year of Authenticity - the year where doing what wasn't true would be hard, and discovering what we truly are would be paramount.
I hadn't given similar thought to 2012. It seemed like there was already so much written and said about 2012 that I would have little to add.
Then, last night, a quiet, gently foggy night, I got the message.
"2012 is the year of Action."
Action vs. Taking Action:
2012 will be the year of action whether we as individuals choose to act or not. As the saying goes, "No decision is a decision." Similarly, choosing not to act is a choice to have others direct your actions. In this case, I suspect we will be compelled by circumstances to be actors in the grand drama, however uncomfortable that may be at times. Better to participate in choosing the course.
Selfish Action vs. Community Action:
One can argue that a selfish act can be an act in support of the community, and that an act in support of community can also serve the self. I like this perspective, because it suggests that we have a choice to bring these two courses, which on the surface seem so antipodal, into a kind of harmonious alignment.
When contemplating an act, consider what aspects of it are selfish, in a community-damaging way. Then see how those aspects can be eliminated or mitigated.
How can the "selfish" act become "sustainable"?
My favorite call to action of this type (one that I've heard probably thousands of times) is, "Put on your own mask before helping others…"
The "Good", the "Bad", and the "Bridge":
The notion of taking action can conjure thoughts of political and community activism, and working toward our objectives (and against the opposition's). I will no doubt be pulled to "Support the Good" and "Resist the Bad". There is the aphorism, attributed to Edmund Burke, that "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing".
But there is a third course of action - the act of relentlessly pursuing understanding, communion, and communication. Being a bridge.
Jesus broke bread with the sinners. And he did not judge them.
"Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
(Or, from the Aramaic, "Blessed are they who make peace…" Note how that feels very active...)
I am committing to more regular publishing of thoughts here at the Firefly Willows blog; I'm also committing to another course of action: The Swallowtail Project blog. There you will find my more "activist" writings, and, I hope, my successful exertions at being a bridge.
Welcome, 2012. Welcome to the action. Claim your piece.