I have been greatly disturbed by the attempts, across the nation, to disenfranchise certain voters. I have actually been quite distressed about it. So I’ve been asking for guidance. All of the various tools that I use to discern that guidance tell me the same thing — enjoy the wonder of life all around you; be patient and you will experience deeper and more profound wonder.
I don’t want to be patient! I don’t want to be groovy and wonderful! I want to be angry, I want to be outraged, I want to be freaked out, I want to believe that circumstances are dire!
Then I went on a drive in the hill country around Blanco, and I saw the most wondrous sights! Wildflowers in profusion, babbling brooks, awe inspiring vistas. Okay, I said, I get it. I’ll try. I’ll take to heart the lessons I’m getting.
So I’m trying to bring the energy of wonder to bear on my reaction to these attempts to suppress the vote. And wouldn’t you know, it helps a lot. I am calmer and more able to study about the issue. I am more hopeful. And I am more aware of the people who are organizing in favor of voting rights. Suddenly, as I open to wonder and delight, I find those people everywhere. Before, when I was dire and anxious, I couldn’t find them.
I remember the war against Viet Nam, and the movement against that war. Wonder and delight were integral parts of that movement. Wonder and delight have been integral to many movements for people’s rights.
As a young activist in the late 60s, I was repulsed by some movement organizations whose styles and beliefs squelched wonder and delight. Now I am called on to live what I instinctively knew then — wonder and delight carry me in the direction I want to go. Even though it can feel like an uphill climb in the face of today’s politics, I am committed to allow wonder and delight.
If you want to learn more about voter suppression legislation in the U.S.A., I recommend Nygaard Notes #504, which quotes from a League of Women Voters report on voter suppression, and Nygaard Notes #503, which quotes from an NAACP report on voter suppression .