By Laurie Beacham
School shootings. Children ripped away from families. Assaults on our democracy. The list goes on. It’s hard not to wake up each day with a heavy heart. So why does my heart feel so full?
I’ve spent the last year and a half as part of a new community of activists. Smart, strategic, kind human beings who I would not know were it not for the political shi*t storm we are living through. Working mothers whose lives were already bursting at the seams, who now find time to knock on doors. People with aging parents who take time out to write postcards. Teenagers who (gulp) take time away from hanging with friends to protest gun violence.
Bonded by a shared distress over events around us and a desire to do something about it, we’ve discovered our respective talents and pooled them wisely. We’ve identified the writers and the history buffs, the number crunchers and the political junkies, the artists and the knitters. We know who does what well and we support each other in doing it.
Spending hours upon hours together, we’ve also gotten to know each other. Our struggles and joys, our families and jobs, and even our dogs and cats! We make each other laugh and we let each other cry. In this thriving community of hearts and minds, many of us have become friends.
It’s a strange duality, knowing each day that something is very wrong – and something is very right. Watching the growth of a beautiful garden from our political hole in the ground. Feeling my heart both hurting -- and exquisitely full.
And it strikes me that this wonderful community is not just a side benefit of these challenging times, but the solution itself. If this were the way the whole world was, wouldn’t everything be okay?
Laurie Beacham is the Media Director of NJ 11th for Change and lives in Livingston.