Joined By One Ocean

Every drop in the ocean counts.
Yoko Ono

 

 

 

 

 

I want to surf.

There – I’ve bared my soul to you.

I want to surf.

I have a fire deep in my belly… and it’s to jump on a board, paddle out and catch a wave… even if it’s a tinywave.

Even if it’s the only one I ever catch in my life!

Even if I get “worked” while trying.

Surfers are a tribe in the purest sense of the word. They are a community. It matters not from whence they came—to a surfer there is only one ocean.  Across language they share it, across cultures they share it.

The same energy that moves across an ocean in one part of the world moves across them all and eventually touches every shoreline on earth. There’s a commonality to the experience, a shared purpose and a shared connection.

Connection.

Ocean connecting with surfer. Surfer connecting with ocean.

Brave.  Honorable.  Passionate.  Dedicated.

I want to surf. I want to identify myself as a surfer.

I actually know and understand this feeling of connection.

I felt this way when I worked for my very first nonprofit. It’s how I still feel today.

Brave.  Honorable.  Passionate.  Dedicated.

Like surfer folks in this sector have a shared language, a shared heart, a shared connection, a shared purpose, there is a commonality to the experience.

It’s why I’ve stayed in this industry.

We are a tribe in the purest sense of the word. We are a global community. It matters not from whence we came.  All that matters is equality, solidarity and the dignity of every human

Social Justice

We ride the waves of possibility that will ultimately liberate communities from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. Letting communities define themselves and their accomplishments, setting their own criteria for happiness. Revolution begun as a wave in Egypt ripples throughout the world. It touches the shores of Libya, Morocco, Yemen and Wisconsin. That is the energy we manifest.

There’s nothing more honorable than making a living doing something you love.  Especially when what you love to do is transformational. I have felt an unbearable amount of pride, deep love and soul satisfaction in identifying myself as a creative, as a social change agent, as a community organizer and as a builder.

Like surfers who honor their sport every time they paddle out and who live their lives without fear, I want us to honor every community we encounter. To establish and  command  power over our own definitions. While we are not invincible, the work we do is enduring.

Just like the ocean, every drop counts.

When White Apathy Sets In

This summer when my colleagues and I ran our Whiteness at Work program we talked about how every racial “awakening” or “reckoning” is followed by white apathy and blowback. Think Trump after Obama. An example I’ve seen lately is how colleagues who reached out to Black...

Sense of Urgency Keeps Us Disconnected

Sense of urgency keeps us disconnected One of the tools of white supremacy is busy-ness. This sense of urgency makes it so we do not connect on a deeper level. It allows no time for discernment, reflection or real repair. We’re busy all the time We’re busy holding...

Equity and Empathy in Times of Crisis

We are all at risk of this highly contagious virus, but for some individuals and communities, the impact will be more severe in terms of health and economic consequences.Racism and xenophobia have been ever-present during this crisis. Like the way we have treated our...