This planet has moved toward globalization in the past few decades. I'm old enough to have observed the change. I didn't encounter a kiwi (fruit) until I was twelve...a mango until I was married. When I was growing up I knew that tomatoes ripened in late summer + that we only ate apples in the autumn...because we could pick each one close to home. Today I can find all of those things at the grocery store in March, because they come to us from around the globe.
Globalization has revealed that our morning cuppa connects us to coffee growers + sugar cane farmers half a world away. The tags inside our clothes reveal a fraction of just how far they have travelled from farm (or oil field) to closet. We. are. connected.
Just as all of this connection is stretching many of us to embrace the necessity of action on behalf of our sisters + brothers around the world...nationalism crashes in like a tidal wave churned up by an earthquake of fear and greed and violence and war and unrest and hunger and need.
Our focus these days is on immense issues. The global scale of the refugee crisis + climate change is overwhelming. My girls are coming of age in the midst of this. They enter spaces always with the thought of an exit strategy...the existence of an active shooter ingrained deep within their realm of possibility. They feel record breaking temperatures on either end of the thermometer becoming the norm...see wildfires + hurricanes + floods devastating disadvantaged populations with increased frequency. Closeted skeletons revealed day after day feel like evidence that the chances of finding a partner with character + integrity are near hopeless.
Just as globalization has led many to nationalism, it is not surprising that the deluge of all of these issues has coincided with a rise in suicide rates. I know...these are heavy words. The connection I mean to make is that our issues today are big...and each of them requires action. We've become a culture of protests...and we need to speak out loudly on every issue...police brutality, immigration, racial inequity, gun violence, climate change, sexual violence, equal pay, higher minimum wage...... We need to speak up, and we need to advocate for change.
I just wonder about the toll that the enormity of all of this is taking on our children + emerging adults. I feel like I need to do more...like I need to make a difference. I feel like...otherwise, what is this life for? And I see this pull on my girls as well. They care deeply. And they are angry. And they want things to change. I'm so proud of them for that!
But...they also need to know that laughing with friends + reading good books + walking in the woods + drinking warm drinks + discovering a song + sinking bare feet into sand + turning their faces toward the sun...all of that + all of the little things...those are the stuff of living too.
How will we measure our lives? What is a life well-lived? My hope is that we don't forget that it is both the big + the small...the global + the right here...humanity + the shoulder-to-shoulder...the planet + the single bite. There is so much to be done + there is so much to be enjoyed, observed, lived.