I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
— Dawna Markova
Call-outs make people fearful of being targeted. People avoid meaningful conversations when hypervigilant perfectionists point out apparent mistakes, feeding the cannibalistic maw of the cancel culture. Shaming people for when they “woke up” presupposes rigid political standards for acceptable discourse and enlists others to pile on. Sometimes it’s just ruthless hazing.
We can change this culture. Calling-in is simply a call-out done with love. Some corrections can be made privately. Others will necessarily be public, but done with respect. It is not tone policing, protecting white fragility or covering up abuse. It helps avoid the weaponization of suffering that prevents constructive healing.
Calling-in engages in debates with words and actions of healing and restoration, and without the self-indulgence of drama. And we can make productive choices about the terms of the debate: Conflicts about coalition-building, supporting candidates or policies are a routine and desirable feature of a pluralistic democracy.
I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic, by Loretta Ross
“If you think falling in love is only reserved for romantic relationships, then you’re missing out on so much.”
— Ayishat Akanbi
“Change your thinking, your interpretation of the world, change the way you see! To change the way you see is to change the world.”
— Yean-Yves Leloup
“Revolutionary love is a well-spring of care, an awakening to the inherent dignity and beauty of others and the earth, a quieting of the ego, a way of moving through the world in relationship, asking: ‘What is your story? What is at stake? What is my part in your flourishing?’ Loving others, even our opponents, in this way has the power to sustain political, social and moral transformation. This is how love changes the world.”
— Valarie Kaur
“Criticizing others is easier than coming to know yourself.”
” Choosing to be honest is the first step in the process of love. There is no practitioner of love who deceives.”
– bell hooks
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
― Aldous Huxley , Island
“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.”
— Audre Lorde
“When you intentionally make the expression of love a part of your daily practice—that is feeling, receiving, and giving love—not only do you boost your immune system, but you begin to understand that the more you feel love, the more you become love, and when you become the embodiment of love, you can change the world.”
— Dr. Joe Dispenza
“A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to — letting a person be what he really is.”
— Jim Morrison
“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art.
I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.”
“Make Good Art”, by Neil Gaiman
“One of the biggest lessons of my life, Krista, has been that we can’t separate the world into monsters and angels and that there’s nothing like loving people and knowing friends who played different roles in the genocide, including being perpetrators, that makes you have to confront that most raw element of what it means to be human. And the only conclusion I could make was that there are monsters and angels in each of us and that those monsters really are our broken parts — they’re our insecurities; they’re our fears; they’re our shames — and that in times of insecurity, it becomes really easy for demagogues to prey on those broken parts and sometimes make us do terrible things to each other.
We’re seeing that all over the world right now. And we have to fight against that. And that’s where the moral revolution becomes a matter of whether we choose to dive into the dark, the perilous path, or whether we choose to create a narrative and make that narrative real, which is our shared destiny, the possibility of collective human flourishment, our repairing the Earth in ways that make it more beautiful — and the choice is ours. And so my hard-edged hope comes from having lived and worked in communities that have had to contend with both. And like flowers breaking through granite, I’m gonna choose hope every time. And I frankly — despite all the dark, I remain a stubborn, persistent, hard-edged, hopeful optimist. I do!”
This is an excerpt of a conversation between Jacqueline Novogratz and Krista Tippett in the most recent episode of the wonderful On Being podcast. Listening to this episode is what my heart needed today.
“The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit.”
— Jon Acuff
“Here’s a quote from ultramarathoner Dick Collins: Decide before the race the conditions that will cause you to stop and drop out. You don’t want to be out there saying, ‘Well gee, my leg hurts, I’m a little dehydrated, I’m sleepy, I’m tired, and it’s cold and windy.’ And talk yourself into quitting. If you are making a decision based on how you feel at that moment, you will probably make the wrong decision.”
— Seth Godin, THE DIP
“My friend once pointed out how negatively I spoke about sales. She looked at me and said: “Tina, selling is a transfer of enthusiasm. Nothing else.” That was a game changer for me.”
— yours truly
“I am a great friend of chaos. It’s all we have. I mean, this whole concept of being able to manage life…life is risk, life is chance, life is being open to chance. The best things in my life, and probably in anybody’s life, come out of being open to being blown off course.”
— Tilda Swinton
“Be courteous to all but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth.”
– George Washington
“Crises are when we learn who we are. Without our frame of reference, we reinvent ourselves. Our best & worst impulses struggle against each other anew, & while our darkest fears become more real, so do our wildest hopes. “Change is not only possible, we are swept away by it.”
— Damian of Ok Go
“If we remain open and calm, uncertainty can be seen as an abundance of opportunity.”
— yours truly
“Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow. Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? Flora or fauna, we are all shapeshifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.”
— Diane Ackerman