This episode finds Nicolas living in a very confused mixed reality surrounded by technology in an effort to obscure their own vulnerability to shelter issues. Still haunted by their brief experience with being shelterless half a decade ago, Nicolas attempts to process their feelings about the eviction of shelterless camps in Chico and Los Angeles and the limited paths to resolution. While taking the legal approach to challenging these evictions is the most viable it requires a massive amount of funding and is a long term approach. And, in the short term, direct action is unsustainable without mass. And, with a divided and desperate population mass appeal seems hard to come by.
Some Truth (as I see it):
Recent times have been very hard on all compassionate sensitive humans.
Democratic Procedure is a crappy way of trying to address our current moment that tries to get at the social issue of consent but utterly fails leading to more divisiveness and resentment…Which, kind of undermines the whole thing…
I want to really delve into The Social Contract that modern demcoratic procedure is based on at some point in a future. For now, though, I think delving into some of the thinking behind The Serenity Prayer might be more useful. It has a decent notion that I’ve found most worthy of consideration in this moment. Quoted as follows:
“Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”
I see the prayer, especially as it was originally written, as a request for wisdom in choosing how to utilize one’s resources. Be that time, money, space for relationships or political engagement. That is a very valid request that I feel we should all be making to whatever or whoever wields the power to grant it. Being agnostic, I’d like to believe that I can put that request out into the universe and that it might matter on some level to someone or something. But, ultimately, for me, I know I am the one that will have to grant that request for myself.
So what do I need the courage to alter? What do I need to realize must be let go? How do I tell? Therapists have been trying to guide me on this for years with no success. I stubbornly believe that despite my unending struggle with it, my connection to others will be my salvation while on Earth. I cannot change this. I don’t want to change this. So, I shall accept it as my Everest.
In this moment, the foothills of my Everest are working with my comrades. Maybe we can’t change the democratic process or capitalism or really work on finding a way to have consent in its truest sense. Only time will tell. But we are comrades because we don’t buy that changing the world for the better is impossible. We aren’t willing to settle for half measures and negotiations. We want better. The struggle for better becomes our source of esteem. Our ideas and visions for better are usually quite principled and well defined. A truly awesome thing relative to many who walk around with vague notions of an eventual betterment that may one day be reached.
But, in having such principled passionate knowledge wrapped up in our esteem we face a real challenge. Namly, others. So how do you hold space to talk, consent and take action? How do you organize. How do you do what every human group on Earth has failed to do thus far?
It starts with talking. Expressing desires. Expressing the limits of your consent. Informing others of your needs. Listening and respecting their needs.
It’s truly herculean. I don’t and have not done it well. I continue to try. Keeping in mind the notion of The Serenity Prayer.
I have a lot to learn. I have a lot of work to do. We have a lot to learn. We have a lot of work to do.
Let’s do it!
In this episode Nicolas discusses trying to triage meeting the current demands of their life loosely informed by their understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and The Wellness Recovery Action Plan. The former has proven to be more helpful as Nicolas works though their survival needs in hopes of being able to spend more time on meeting esteem needs.
In this episode Nicolas talks about the psychological impacts they are facing after several months in almost perfect quarantine. Nicolas puts a particular focus on their addictions (flight sim, soda and cigarettes) and how being in quarantine makes fighting these addictions particularly challenging. Lastly, Nicolas laments their lack of active activism and debates attending a 4th of July gathering.
I want to say something. But I don’t know what to say. I want to do something. But I don’t know what to do. I want to leverage what privilege I have. But I don’t know how. And, truth be told, in all this good intention the end result doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. For, being a white person of privilege who appears male. My voice is not one to be heard in this time and place. I should be silent. I should yield. Not self indulge in my precious feelings of gold. Yet here I indulge again. Here I feel a righteous anger that I should have known all along. I shall not forage the path ahead. That is for others. For I cannot comprehend a path when all I have taken all I have known. Lead to the very same place. The podium of an out of touch silver tongued politician bent on the law of obstruction. That is not a path to take. So shut up now. Take a seat. Listen and listen well to those in the know.
In this episode Nicolas gives some sage words of wisdom to protesters regarding making sure efforts are sustainable. Nicolas is also seeking to give a platform to Black Community Organizers or allies to answer the question via podcast episode: What is the message you most want to get out there right now? Nicolas also talks about their financial choices for the month of June and their feelings of guilt over the evil organizations they financially contribute to.
In this episode I talk about how far left my activist bent has taken me over the past eight year and how it serves to isolate me. I question whether the isolation is worth it. I also talk about gender identity and the stigma, stress, and alienation of changing pronouns. I conclude with the announcement that I am gender questioning pan-sexual who’s pronouns are they/them.