There is a brighter side of loss. In my own life–whether it was losing a race, losing hope in love, losing a career or losing a loved one–at first, I am always met with desperation. I tend to take shelter hoping that by hiding from the world, the past will dissipate like a dream. But as the tears run down my face, the hands of the clock keep ticking. There is no time to look back, ask questions. We are here now, I tell myself.
We are no different from the wild beasts of the woods. Talk to any forester and they'll tell you that at any given time there is an overpopulation of some species. It causes chaos–change. Habitats are diminished or grow wild because of just one breed. If per say there is a population increase of rabbits one year, within a few more years, naturally, there would be a decrease of rabbits due to an increase of foxes. We feed off of our differences. Balance–an organic, and most often disguised, form of peace.
Yesterday, we were the rabbits. We sensed fear. Our tendency now is to burrow down in our homes to escape the growing dominance of the fox. But to go down the rabbit hole in fear only causes exhaustion. And in this instance, there is no further growth for those like us when we hide. If we are the rabbits, our survival depends on what is inherent to us–our ability to breed. I'm not talking about a hippie-dippy sexapade. I am speaking out on the idea that we should all come together to continue to breed peace and equality, to continue to fight for our habitat–our environment, our country.
You see, what happens over the course of the land being overrun by the fox is that as the rabbits diminish or retreat to safety, there begins an increase in vegetation. Our homeland has become ripe for the picking. Where once we had to forage and fight for food, we now have low-hanging fruit readily available. Within our reach, we have an overwhelming energy to sustain our survival, to continue our efforts to make our lives better.
In times of loss, I've found I was actually driven to change rather than lingering in the thoughts of what could be. Being vulnerable left me no option but to speak out, make moves. The second wind, the electricity that courses through my veins when provoked by something devastating breeds change. And it grasps for the fruit, now hanging low, to feed my deepest desires for what is to come.
So perhaps we can see this defeat as the ultimate push for change. With another outcome, it would have been easy to rest on our laurels to let those being paid to lead the way do their jobs. The way it has been laid out for us in this house of cards now puts the game in our hands. Win. Lose. Or draw.
In history, those elected into office or appointed into power have not served as the majority who have made the greatest impact in global history. Big things happen when we are forced out of the box. Ghandi, Darwin, King, Mandela, Newton, Armstrong, Joan of Arc, Muir–these well-known names became well-known because of the actions taken in spite of what was contrary. These people who made discoveries, paved paths for freedom, protected people and landscapes were not down for disappearing acts. They thrived off of the unbalanced environment, the opposing force that was dead-set against their philosophies and ideas because they trusted themselves and the people who stood beside them. They were able to do things, prove things that seemed unbelievable. They launched themselves into unexplored space to the moon and back, took the stage for what they believed in. And like rabbits appearing from hats, people began to believe in the possibilities they never had before dreamed of.
Darwin came to his first theory of evolution when he studied a group of birds. He noticed the basic similarities between finches all the while taking note of their differences. The finches who had adapted their beaks in order to better forage for food thrived. A species only goes into extinction when it refuses to change in spite of imminent threat. Whether we are rabbits, foxes or birds, we all call the same place home. It is time to flock together–not to burrow alone or fight–to fly another way towards progress. The evolution of each species depends on it.
Read the revised version of this story on Elephant Journal.