Maybe you’ve been feeling it too—the news, the president, the border wall, the climate crisis, racist people in power, international corruption. We’re well past the two-year mark, and it’s still the same awful dudes at the top making worse decisions by the day.
Can we take a moment to just be honest about how overwhelming this is—and what to do about it?
When nothing seems to change, it’s demoralizing. It’s beyond infuriating. It’s enough to make you want to turn off the news, close the laptop, recycle the paper and just ghost it for the next two years.
At the core of this overwhelm and frustration is a flawed thought: I can change this myself.
If you’re accustomed to being listened to and respected… If you’re the kind of person who has had even fleeting success in life… If you’re like me and overcome big challenges, then we have been under the spell of the same limiting narrative.
In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, “What got you here will not get you there.” While you are no doubt capable person, what we’re facing right now—nationally and globally—is like nothing we have ever seen. Solving what lies ahead of us will take more than what’s gotten us this far. Our own willpower isn’t enough. A few letters or phone calls aren’t enough. No heroes—including ourselves—will turn this ship around.
This truth takes time to accept. It takes a deep breath and a willingness to be curious. The truth is you cannot change the outcome alone. Neither can I. None of us can.
Only we can.
Only we can create that change—with skills like cooperation, community, cohesion, collaboration—that will see us through this dark night of the planet’s soul. The roots of each word is “co-”, meaning together. Only with others can we create a kind, flourishing world.
However (and this is hard), it means banishing the idea that your outrage and effort alone can fix this. It can’t. Only together can we right the wrongs, heal what has been broken, and overcome the obstacles ahead. Together.
So, take a breath. Pause to feel the truth of this. Notice if you’re willing to accept an invitation. Will you commit to more “co-” into your life?
Thankfully, you and I are part of a movement of people who believe strongly enough in a better future to work for it. Even if you didn’t realize it. Even if you just forgot. It’s still true. This week, pause to remember when you dial the phone or write a postcard that thousands of other hearts doing the very same.
For it’s in community that we persevere, and together we create a better, brighter future.
I’ve been caring for my 93-year-old father who took a fall, broke his hip, and had to have a half-hip replacement. It’s been a long month, and I have had to let so many things go. But when I read this post, I realized that I could help others do the work I’m not able to do right now. I immediately donated to Spread the Vote and envisioned how my contribution could support action. It was an uplifting moment– and one I needed.
I love the Checklist, and try to do at least one action per week. This week I sent a postcard to Sonny Perdue. I can’t believe that the USDA would work so hard to discriminate against LGBT youth! Here’s what I wrote:
Dear Sec. Perdue: I’m writing in regard to our beloved institution: 4-H. There is no place for discrimination and intolerance in 4-H. The policy to welcome ALL, including LGBT youth, needs to be reinstated. What were you thinking? That no one would notice or be hurt? PLEASE. 4-H has the potential to be a real leader here. Embrace equality! Help our youth become leaders for the future! Use your Head , Heart & Hands to ensure the Health of 4-H. Thank you.