Now that all those “Happy New Years!” have been shouted and sung, let’s get subversive, folks. 2011 is here to stay, so let’s make the most of it. Our resolutions may be freshly formulated (and already forgotten?) but revolutions are what we really need. Resolutions usually add up to nothing more than words; revolutions, on the other hand, demand deeds. There is no time better than the present to get them rolling.
Let’s start with Washington, D.C. Change has been the battle cry for over two years now but “same old, same old,” it seems, still holds sway. I realize there can be no comparing the two, but 9/11 and the Great Recession continue to challenge every American to be strong and resourceful – and Washington as well.
The scene of our elected government gathered on the steps of the Capitol after 9/11, singing “God Bless America,” remains vivid. It would be revolutionary to have them once again, because of the disaster of the Great Recession, do the same, then stop pointing fingers and finally work together to meet and resolve its ravages.
Next up, the Church. We, the people of Christianity, need our voices heard. We also need to hear, still, a loud and clear “Mea culpa” from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church for its failure to take responsibility for years of denial, protecting its own in order to avoid the scandal of sexual abuse. It would be revolutionary as well for all Christian churches to de-emphasize the competitive business of religion and feed the spiritual needs of their people with the simple sense of Jesus’ words.
A revolutionary definition of relationships based on love, not sex, has been lacking for centuries, as well as respect – both personal and legal – for individual choices. This should not ignore, however, the presumption of maturity and responsibility in the making of such choices.
Tolerance among us still requires the revolution of acceptance, the ability to live with differences and see and respect in one another something of ourselves – the spirit-self that connects us all in this piece of time.
A different kind of revolution is necessary to confront the violence of the world, in our streets and our minds. Fighting fire with fire may work for firefighters, but fighting violence with violence rarely makes sense – or lasting peace. Such a revolution has to begin with both a code and a consistency of social justice. As fear is the heart of violence, only love and justice can confront, diminish and eradicate it.
Finally, who does not wish for a revolution that is all about peace, personal and universal, that begins within, by accepting self and each moment as gift, choosing to make one’s world a better place because of their being and becoming? If we can stop the little wars within ourselves in order to know a certain peace, others may want it as well. That kind of “peace in our time” is always possible.
Resolutions require revolutions to have any meaning. Perhaps we all need to resolve to revolt on many levels in the New Year – and mean it.