364 Other Days

People think they are making a big contribution by voting
But don’t forget—a year has 364 other days:

To come together face to face
To get to know each other

To name the problems that afflict us and others
To share stories of struggle and shining

To realize there’s sanity in numbers
To share the wealth of our insight, curiosity, passions, and experience

To appreciate one another’s presence
To savor the potluck’s soups, salads, dal and basmati, and any-and-everything brought by Fatima

To learn how to rule ourselves as individuals through the practice of mindfulness (sovereignty over ourselves)
To improve how to rule our tongues by practicing the Sufi three-gate rule (Are the words I’m about to speak true, necessary, and kind?)

To swim against the current of gottahaveit consuming by practicing Gandhi’s maxim, “Renounce and enjoy”
And, speaking of Gandhi, to “prepare for mountains of suffering” and not get hung up on tactics and debates

Voting can take 10 to 20 minutes or much longer
Depending on the crowd, lines, and wait

364 days-a-year democracy
Is so much more involved and demanding

Wouldn’t you agree?

Chelsea Jaeger and friends being the change

–writing practice during Writing to Wake Up class, October 2012, Spring Avenue


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