I have used my “Transformation 101” Page here as a jumping off point for discussions of transformation or positive change concerning societal or “big issue” matters.
These are important to me.
For example, last night – on August 9, 2010 – I attended a reading by Andrew Bacevich (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired) for his new book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Perpetual War (2010). His new book is about nothing less than transforming U.S. military strategy and foreign policy! That is breathtaking and very timely! This is something that I am very interested in.
However, I want my readers to know that I believe that it is OK to concentrate on personal transformation rather than on societal or “big issue” positive change. Personal transformation – as well as societal transformation – can be a mixture of positive and negative changes. These can be difficult to navigate; joy and gratitude can still be present.
We all face decline as we grow older. Many of us deal with chronic pain or disabilities. An elderly friend of mine has macular degeneration and is legally blind. Another friend of mine – who hand crafts large, lovely dolls on a commission basis – has multiple sclerosis. She is loving and fierce; she refers to MS as the “MonSter.” In her courage and attitude she provides a great example!
As we consider inevitable decline, I am reminded of a quote that my friend Libby made me aware of:
“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.” ~ Edith Wharton
We contribute in the ways we can contribute: in raising our children, taking care of our families, in making a living, in building our communities and making connections, and in advocating for change we believe in. There is much work to be done, and on all levels of concern and in all areas: local, community, city, state, regional, national, continent-wide, and global.
If we are working to leave this world an even better place than when we arrived, we are doing essential work.