From the ashes we rise up anew. The Phoenix – a mythological bird that dies in a show of flames and combustion but then through the ashes is reborn – has been a fitting metaphor for the 2016 election. The election is over and many of us are feeling big emotions. The challenge is to be able to honor these feelings, be with them, and then grow from them.
Drawing Parallels From The Firebird Suite
I’ve watched a lot of Fantasia 2000 as of late. It’s my kid’s favorite movie and I’m grateful that it is classical music. However, watch something over a hundred times and you can look past the original story line and draw metaphors and analogies to your own life. The Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky has been helping me frame this volatile election cycle.
If you’re a little rusty on your Fantasia 2000, here’s a quick refresher of the story:
In the dormancy of winter, a beautiful elk walked in to a cave and summoned Mother Nature to awaken spring. And she did. She created wildflowers, flowering trees, green meadows, until she encountered a volcano. The Phoenix awoke from her gentle touch. Images of death and suffering were visible in the billowing smoke. Magma oozed over the once vibrant spring landscape. Mother Nature was aghast. The Phoenix destroyed everything she loved.
The elk survived and surveyed the destruction. Stunned but with steady footsteps, he walked forward. Like before he called on Mother Nature. She was not as vibrant as she once was. Now smaller and weaker, she wanted to give up hope. The elk’s gaze summoned up the strength for her to lean on him. She cried when the elk galloped to take her to a place she once loved. New growth shot up when the tears touched the scorched soil. Seeing the new growth, Mother Nature brought the rain and then the redwoods, meadows, and wildflowers.
And Now The Gif Version Of The Firebird Suite:
The analogy, as I see it, is Mother Nature is the United States and we are the elk and this election was that Phoenix. The election is over but there are still glowing embers. It is difficult to see past the destruction and suffering. The United States has some grieving and some healing to do. I believe that we will need to find the elk’s steadfastness within ourselves and give the US her strength to raise up.
Inaction And Passivity Can No Longer Be Tolerated
Also known as “Thanks, Obama!”
You see, there’s this narrative that I like to tell myself: I’m just too busy. Additionally, I recognize in myself a passivity that comes from an attitude of somebody else will take care of it. And, in my mind’s eye, that onus fell on President Obama. I think he’s done some great work and I’m glad that I put my trust in him. However, I made it too easy for myself to believe that I didn’t need to take any action of my own.
So, yeah, Thanks Obama.
I did the token amount of what was required to perform my civic duty. I will gladly serve on a jury (and I have), I vote, and I’ll fill out an online petition here and there. However, that was the extent of my actions to help my community. Until now.
A Call To Action
Let’s rise up from the ashes and find our inner strength to do what is right. To be kindness and help others, our communities, and this earth. Let us make this country a home for love and acceptance for all persons.
We cannot watch idly and believe that others will take action on our behalf. Let us be our own advocates and each other’s allies.
26 Ways To Make A Difference
This was a rapid fire list to get us started. Please share your ideas on ways we can positively make a difference in our communities and each other’s lives.
- Smile at someone
- Offer a genuine compliment
- Participate in a drive (food, school, pet supplies)
- Write a thank you card or a letter
- Buy locally
- Play Sneaky Cards
- Do a favor and don’t expect anything in return
- Plant trees
- Plant wildflowers
- Be vegetarian for a day
- Practice water conservatism
- Start a garden
- Bring your own grocery bags
- Go for a walk and pick up any litter you see
- Wear a safety pin or don’t – more importantly, be an ally
- Speak up if you see bullying, racism, sexism, or any form of discrimination
- Find volunteer opportunities in your hometown with VolunteerMatch.org
- Donate to any (or all of these) pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-earth and anti-bigotry organizations
- Visit Charity Navigator to find a local non-profit that needs your support
- Write to your Congressman or Congresswoman
- Serve on a jury
- Find the good in people
- Bring out the good in people (show them how)
Thank you for reading this post. Thank you for giving some thought to trying out a couple of these suggestions out. I hope when you do any of these acts that you feel good, right down to your core. Thank you for being a part of a rippling positive force in your community.
It is through changing ourselves that we can begin to change the world.
With love and kindness,