Risk & Responsibility
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing...Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable and remove yourself from the unacceptable.”
Life is risky business. Especially now, or so it seems. We sit on the edge of our seats every single day wondering what will happen next. Here in America, we're reeling from storms and fires, from lunatics shooting up crowds of people, and from complete chaos in our government. It's hard to feel secure with all these things going on. I thank God for people like Sen. John McCain who, even though he is battling brain cancer, marshals his energy and proclaims what he, and we, stand for in the world. He doesn't pull punches or mince words—he calls stupid, stupid without hesitation. He, and others like him, are doing what they can do to change an unacceptable situation.
We may think, “yes, but he's a Senator; he has great power to persuade,” and we are correct in that assessment. But we all have power in our little corner of the world; we all have the ability and the responsibility to speak our truth. I don't want to see us shut down our borders, pull out of our treaties and trade pacts, and goad other countries into nuclear war. I don't want to see us at war, period. So, I have a responsibility to speak that truth. I have a responsibility to say to whomever is listening that, whatever the problem, war is not the answer. It may be that my words will not make a difference, that I do not have the position or the power to move hearts and minds, but that's not the point. The point is that I don't have the option of doing nothing, and the something I can and must do is speak my own truth.
More and more people are realizing this. We must speak up; and not only speak up, but change what is changeable. It is heartening to see former Presidents, Bush and Obama, speaking out about the unacceptability of racism, misogyny, casual cruelty and religious intolerance in our public discourse. It is an important moment for us to take a good look at what is happening in our country and the world, and ask, “Is this how I want the world to be? Is this the world I want to hand down to my children and grandchildren? There is nothing happening that cannot be changed. What can I do, however small and powerless I may be, to bring about the change I want to see?
Life is risky. But, the greatest risk we run is not doing our part to make it better—for ourselves and for those who will come after us. Doing nothing is not an option. I hope that today, you will speak your heart's truth to at least one other person.
In the Spirit,