Parker Palmer has helped me through his books and his Center for Courage & Renewal. His March 11 Facebook post about the fullness of love is an appropriate conversation in a war-torn world:
My heart is broken by what’s happening in Ukraine AND I’m profoundly inspired by the people of that war-torn country. They are driven by a fierce love of life—their children’s lives, their neighbors’ lives, the life of their democracy. They make me wonder, again, about myself and my country.
Do we love everyone’s life enough to push back on evil for the sake of the common good? Or do we blink (at) the evil done to others as long as our personal lives are going well?
… Authoritarians everywhere fear life’s diversity, complexity, exuberance, unpredictability, and creativity, the kind that challenges old orthodoxies. They feel safe only when they have the power to force the world into a form that meets their needs. …
We in the U.S.A. have …. people who are afraid of life in an increasingly diverse society, including that messy form of life called “democracy.” These people want to “tame” our democracy by perpetuating the Big Lie, making it harder for certain people to vote, denying students a chance to learn about race in America, and banning books about sexual orientation….
So, a Memo to Self: As you watch the news from Ukraine, go beyond your broken heart: learn and follow. Get in touch with your fierce love of life, everyone’s life, and if you find it missing, blow on the embers and rekindle it. Push back on the fearful who want to tamp life down. Work hard to deny power to those who are in love with death. As Ukrainians will tell you, that’s a purpose worth living for.