In my last two pathetically depressed weeks, I made no attempts to promote this project and blog. Friday, with my spirits finally floating back to the surface, I started to talk about all this – at the right time, with the right person…maybe 6-7 people in an 8-hour shift. Some of them already knew the grocery store blog I had been writing, on and off, for two years. I tried to contrast the two blogs. A couple of times I put the two business cards in front of them. “This is the blog you know – ‘Real Life in the Checkout Line‘. It’s about the interactions I have here with you all. This new blog ‘Releasing the Force’ is more political.”
This characterization of the two blogs felt wrong. Some of my new blog posts clearly come out of my experiences in the grocery store. Is it fair to say that my new blog posts are “political”? They don’t all deal with politics – maybe most of them don’t. Some of them are very personal. Out of fumbling over all this with a few people came some more clarity.
Some of this new clarity came from turning over my “Releasing the Force: Activism with Heart” card to show the tagline – “Making our country a better place by doing that which is meant to be done by me.” I started saying things to these select customers (somehow they felt like a good person with whom to be talking about all this) like, “It’s not about what you think you should be doing – or what anybody else, including me, is trying to get you to do. You – what’s coming out of you? If you were to do one new thing – and maybe the genuine answer to that is no, that you don’t need one more thing on your plate – what might it be? What would fit in your life, with your skills and interests, with your family situation? What if you had more support – maybe from a group of people, maybe from one confidante, maybe from this blog?”
The last guy of the afternoon with whom I had this conversation – not with all the words above, but some shorter approximation – was a very engaging 35ish guy. When I parted with him with my classic Friday question “What are you looking forward to this weekend?” he didn’t hesitate with his answer. “No question – making Valentines with my four-year old daughter. She’s been all about this for two weeks now. We have all her art supplies out in one area. She’s amazing.”
I gave a genuinely delighted laugh and wished him well. Then, before he had taken two more steps, I got it and called out to him: “That’s it! That’s your contribution! That’s what you’re meant to do this weekend to make the world a more peaceful place! You making Valentines with your daughter is growing her up to be a more loving person – and it’s bringing out peaceful, benevolent, loving feelings in you. And in some mysterious but real way it’s radiating peace in all directions.” OK, I didn’t have the presence of mind to say all this yesterday, but I do believe it.
What’s your light saber? How are you meant to make our country a better place? It could be a little thing, mundane, unexpected. Give yourself time for this to come. Let yourself be surprised by the answer to that question.