Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Rather than resolutions, for several years I participated in the movement that espoused choosing a single word to encapsulate my goals for the coming year. It has been a while since I have mustered that kind of focus, but this is a year when I feel the need to hone in on what matters to me intently.
Reading Michelle Obama's Becoming this morning, I was struck by a passage she wrote about observing her husband early in their relationship. He was working with a group of church women in Chicago urging them to band together in their efforts to make positive change.
He was there to convince them that our stories connected us to one another, and through those connections it was possible to harness discontent and convert it to something useful. Even they, he said--a tiny group inside a small church, in what felt like a forgoteten neighborhood-- could build real political power.
In these words, I found my word. Build.
The past few years in America and too many other places have been about tearing down. Tearing down the norms of society and government. Tearing down the illusions of tolerance I thought existed in our country. Tearing down civil discourse. Tearing down alliances. Tearing down neighbors and people who don't look, live, or pray just as we do. An influx of violence and addiction devastatingly tear at the fabric of family. As a society we lack the patience to fix things and rely too consistently on wiping away altogether what is only in need of repair.
It occurs to me my life is about building. My professional work is about restoration of lives. My personal hobbies are about restoration of architecture, community, and beauty. I long to see things, people made whole. My motivation is to repair, restore, to build.
This year I resolve to build: my faith, relationships, healthy habits, community, and yes, political power.