“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
A New Year's Revolution
A reflection from Kyle Kramer, the Executive Director of the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
From my perspective, our culture needs more than just New Year's resolutions - we need a New Year's revolution. From the gulf between the poor and the ultra-rich, to the stresses and strains we place on the natural world, to our dysfunctional politics, to our social isolation and alienation, to our ill-health in body, soul and spirit - we need massive, revolutionary changes to bring about a flourishing society and a healthy planet.
I suspect, however, that we can't bring about such a revolution with street barricades and the like. I believe in a great irony: that as much as we may need large-scale change, we will likely only get there by starting small - not by trying to create a movement, but by trying (with imperfectness and failures) to allow healing into our own lives and to knit our communities back together, relationship by relationship. The revolution I dream of will be born by millions of small but courageous acts of kindness and compassion, in the fierce urgency of now.
The word revolution means to turn around, which reminds me of the Greek word for repentance, metanoia, whose literal meaning is to change one's mind and heart by turning around and facing a new direction. As we turn around to face the New Year, my hope and prayer is that we may turn from our anger, fear, and judgment (of self and others) and toward all that is beautiful, loving, and gentle. That kind of revolution would be truly radical, and it can begin with even a few moments of quiet solitude each day. Bring on the revolution!