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If we are not bystanders… then what are we?

Hazakyah's writings has had me thinking for a long time. i feel like on some levels I could be called a bystander... i live in a society that benefits from the policies of genocide... I have long since met with this truth, because of Canada's relationship with Indigenous people. Now, I don't go around preaching about the genocide, that is not my calling, but I am called upon to do better with the knowledge that our society is built on murderous intent.

I suffer rather severely from what is called a mental health issue. Without the intervention of medication and years of training my brain, i can get lost in a dark fog for a long time. So i have chosen, for the purpose of my health to turn off the news. This has helped a lot, but once again, it is not my path to dwell on this story.

For years I have worked and lived with the impact of AIDS in our society. Once I believed it was my path to fight for all things related... and we had our successes, with our hand influencing policies like housing for the disabled and other disability programs, age of consent, medical marijuana, same sex marriage and government pension benefits for same sex survivors. All of this was inside the framework of policies that do not support all members of society equally. For the sake of my health and balance in my life, i have changed my thinking on this issue as well.

This is when I stopped being a bystander. To know better means we are called upon to do better.

So, what can we do?

  1. Pray, meditate, be mindful, live in peace, the best you can. Ask for guidance from the creator to lead you to actions of peace.

  2. Planting seeds, for food and beauty, the world needs more free sources of both!

  3. Creating art, as a art medicine worker, i have the ability to introduce and communicate with concepts like peace and hope through my art. Putting aside the critical voice gives me the opportunity to create and reflect more deeply on these and other issues.

  4. Reflecting on my intentions, using various means to connect with my higher self, and ultimately with my guidance to know what it is I am called upon to do.

  5. Coming together with friends, whether it be over long distances or close by, provides opportunity to offer comfort and companionship. We have learned all too recently how important these are to our wellness and ability to find peace in the world.

  6. Holding spaces for individuals affected by war, and policies that bring systamatic destruction of a culture or people. You may find yourself called to action as you enter this space, but the intent of holding space is not to offer your interpretation of a solution, but rather to make space for those affected to find what they need to come through the process. (As I type this, I feel awkward explaining a concept I do not fully understand myself, but I have seen the benefit of it in practice, so I include it).

  7. Supporting programs and services that provide for those affected by war, policies of destruction and all types of prejudice in our society. Look around your community, find spaces if they exist and make spaces if they are needed.

With this, i am off to create... wishing all who make it here peace and light,


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