Survivance: maintaining principles and culture as we adapt to a changing world
I read that in the exhibit, “Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities” in the National Museum of the American Indian this Sunday. I regret I do not remember the name of the person quoted.
Survivance struck me as an extremely important concept for all of us battling the powers that be and the forces at work today in the U.S.
On my ride home from D.C. it came to me how survivance can be the basis for a different strategy and how the Sunday Stand Up could have been different.
Leaving the Metro station and entering the Mall, I found myself in an alternate universe. There was a stage being set up with the banner, “Walk for Life – January 22.” Uh oh.
Heading toward the Capitol building, I spied another sign of an altered universe, a blooming cherry tree. January – blooming cherry tree.
Some good news – I did a Porta-potty count for estimation on the expected size of the crowd – less than 50.
Supersoling and I hooked up. We talked. We had no plan.
There were clusters of fresh faced youths (99.9% white) walking around. Many had sweatshirts with “St. Something-or-other” on them. There were groups/classes of fresh faced youths with adults (99.9% white) walking around the Capitol steps and the Mall. There were clusters of nuns walking around, going in and coming out of buildings. There were buses arriving.
Super and I walked back to the stage area and spoke with a man setting things up, asking when things were going to begin. We were told the event would be the next day, Monday. We mentioned the date on the banner. He looked, checked his watch, then laughed. The banner was wrong.
Super and I walked and talked. We took some photos. I carried an umbrella; we walked and talked some more.
We went to the Museum of Native Indians to eat. I really wanted Super to see it as he had mentioned having Cherokee genes running through him. It is an inspiring place.
I learned some things. I got locked into thinking of talking with people as “confrontation.” I do not like confrontation. I am not able to confront people I do not know. I don’t know if I even want to get better at confronting people. Two people yelling at each other look the same.
I learned I can carry an umbrella that says, “IMPEACH” out in public.
I learned the word survivance.
And I thought about how I could have done this differently. Here were these people who want to stop abortions. How could I have “engaged” with them? Not to change their minds, but to find common ground.
What if I could have written a petition, say one on increasing minimum wages, or one on single payer health plans?
And having that petition, could I have approached groups of people and said, “You care about `life’ – I admire your committment. One of the reasons couples and women choose abortion is that they cannot afford to raise a child. Would you please sign this petition asking Congress to increase the minimum wage?”
I could have done that. I think.
Survivance – maintaining principles and culture while adapting to a changing world.
Sunday was worth it to me. Heck, spending a day with Supersoling made it worthwhile. 🙂
So, what are you doing next weekend?