I recently was speed walking around the city skimming plaques on houses, sidewalks and statues, astounded by the depth of documented mainly political history on every corner. I also couldn’t get over how people (presumably politicians or the politically motivated ) wore suits in a city of such heat and humidity, but that is another conversation. As a visitor from the small mountain town where I live, being in DC felt like the epicenter of politics, the White House, the pentagon, THIS was where the things happened. What the things are exactly, I couldn’t tell you, there was just a conscious sense of separation between where I live, the decisions I make and this burgeoning metropolis where people aim to set the policy and laws that impact the world.
It’s midnight. I awake abruptly, go to roll over and feel nothing but air beside me, as if I am laying on the edge of a cliff. I immediately roll back to save myself from the tumble downward to be blocked by a warm soft wall. The couch. I slowly open my eyes, trying to get my bearings as I hoist myself upright. I focus on the screen dominating my view and read – Are you still watching”?
There is a spoof on drug commercials that I love called Nature Rx. It takes the common concept of a prescription solution to all encompassing issues that we as humans face daily, and recommends a solid dose of Nature (Disclaimer aside). My own life has been remedied countless times by a few days out in the wilderness away from “it” all. Without a barrage of notifications, incoming todo’s and well meaning, but overwhelming check-ins from friends, I stop thinking in a million different directions, prioritizing and reprioritizing as work, news and events as they come into my purview.
The Canary’s first meeting of 2022 was canceled the day of. There was some illness and some conflicting business and a general sense of ongoing recovery from the holidays. When we finally did meet a week later in a joyful state of reconnection and catching up, we brought up goals for the upcoming year, both personally and for our organization. We also discussed the negative response we felt to the New Year hype of resolutions and self-reinvention. In keeping with our values of intentionality, well-being, and truth, we took time to reflect on this and decided to each write a short reflection on how we approach the idea of reinvention at the start of a new year.
It can be difficult to imagine how to begin to create a better world when we don’t trust one another and when we don’t trust our government to do what is best for us. It can be difficult to mobilize and find strength in our community when we don’t trust our neighbors and when we don’t trust ourselves to be able to make the changes necessary to bring integrity and accountability back into our democratic process.
There’s a great deal of jadedness and apathy stemming from this simple, yet difficult, problem: a lack of trust.
This morning I sat down to write this piece and I immediately felt stuck. I didn’t know where to begin, couldn’t find the right words, and within ten minutes of trying I ended up opening a random series of internet tabs and scrolling through my email aimlessly. Most of the work I do requires writing, which is often creative and sometimes not so much, but it requires a certain amount of focus regardless. And I often feel my mind being pulled away from the task at hand by the seemingly infinite world of information, social updates, cute animal videos, etc that are always just a click away.
Democracy is a system of self-governance in which citizens elect representatives to pursue their interest, and a system whose functionality relies upon the concepts of truth, justice, the rule of law, and an educated populace. In the United States we rely on representative democracy as our system of government. We rely on this system to provide for […]
As a country, we are yet again faced with a moment to reflect upon; a moment that some view as a triumph of our justice system and others as a failure. Regardless of which perspective you believe to be true, in a moment such as this we all must take pause to understand how mainstream media coverage and social media messaging has impacted our understanding of recent events.
‘Social media’ is often spoken about abstractly, removed from people’s actual experiences of using these platforms and participating (or not) in these online spaces. But in actuality — in the day-to-day and moment-to-moment ways in which people engage with them — social media spaces can bring us a range of emotions: joy and heartache, inspiration and distraction, connectivity and isolation. Each of us having our own personally curated experience online, separate from that of others, yet intrinsically entwined at the same time, presents a paradox that can muddle reality, breakdown communication, and distort our perception of self and others.
Do you hear that? That voice? That voice inside your head? That internal narrative we can have, guiding our every decision each and every day. This internal narrative that is so personal, so sacred to us is not inherently created from within. This story we tell ourselves is created and influenced by all the external narratives that we consume, from our lived experiences to those others share with us. It comes from the books we read, the shows we watch, the music we listen to. It is morphing constantly as we take in more information. And although it will always morph, that doesn’t mean that it is always changing.