My father wrote these words in relation to international events back then, for which he made comparisons to the French Revolution of the eighteenth century and Iraqi Revolution of 1958, the bloodiness, political aspirations and reactions. Today, had my father been living, we would be celebrating his birthday and I would likely be sitting with him and trying to make sense of events of our day. As I sat in conversation with some of his writings, I was thinking of the pandemic and protests against racial injustice, and felt the above excerpt is germane to both.
The particulars of our social revolution are different on some level, and the forces for change are not so nascent, : Economic, racial, gender, and other social justice issues related to inequity are rather tangible and enduring. Even with some improvements in policies over the last sixty years, what we see today is a result of insufficient policies and widespread and growing disparities. To what extent will our approaches to societal ills today, advance or impede the forces for tomorrow? The forces of "the people"...
No doubt, standing in solidarity in mourning Mr. George Floyd, among others, who have lost their lives to racial injustice, is a small way of "advancing the forces of tomorrow." As we stand (through vigils, peaceful protests, ongoing collaboration and discussions in our communities) we take steps to decrease the likelihood of complacency, of "rebound to our detriment." We need not focus attention on the minority engaged in violence. We stand tall in peaceful expressions, giving life-force to the vitality and truth of dignity, and the value of all life!
The upheavals of the pandemic are also inviting awareness at the deepest levels of needed changes in economic/healthcare/educational structures, which can protect, preserve and advance life for all. I imagine wise solutions might be generated from a diversity of thought, ideologies and hopefully, emerging systems of ideas that bring forth strengths from the past, address injustices, and formulate completely new ways of thinking about the challenges, the assumptions, and solutions. (I find the work by Stephen Dinan Sacred America, Sacred World particularly compelling in outlining ways to collaborate across political orientations.)
In positive psychology, civic engagement is a quality that supports the virtues of justice, courage and love. Is there a way(s) you can engage civically in an effort to create a world that is HOME TO ALL? Is there a cause(s) that speak to you and might nudge involvement? Homelessness, antipoverty, immigrant and refugee rights, criminal justice reform, GLBTQIA, environmental...Sometimes, we can begin with a donation of money, and other times, we can begin with a donation of time in helping on some level, raise awareness or even more tangible efforts.