Stands Blog

Rachel Miner

28 July 2017

I want to give you the truest truth in me, so here it goes. The strongest wish I have inside is to be so completely, entirely good, pure of heart, noble, that the force of that would surge out into the world and turn all evil into beauty and harmony… so yes, I have spent my life feeling that I am falling quite short of the mark.

But in earnest, I do still believe each of us has this power—perhaps not in the epic, explosive, awe-inspiring way we may imagine it; but hidden within every exchange, every small gesture, all the minutia of life, there is this ability we have to forever change the course of existence. To imbue it with the beauty and kindness we wish to see, we wish to share, we wish to experience and wish for others to experience with us. So we mustn’t give up or leave it to someone else to make the world better, because it is up to all of us in each and every moment.

Right now, in this moment, I’m going to to share with you something special to me. Because somehow, in some magical way, I have been given the opportunity to start living a life wherein I get to be a close approximation to my true self—that self that I most wanted to be as a child. No, I am not an actual astronaut, princess, Jedi or paleontologist—but I am getting to be a part of projects aimed purely at making the world a better place, and that fulfills the essence of all those dreams I had. 

What moves me beyond words is how you’ve cheered me through all the trials, through all the fears. How you’ve encouraged me to express my honest self when I believed no one would want what I had to offer in the world, and I so deeply want to do the same for you.

So with this campaign I’m working on with Stands I am very much hoping to tie those two desires together—expressing my deepest wish, and championing you to express yours (which, in fact, is part of my wish, too). So I can be this full expression of myself, and cheer you forward to have the strength, courage, and bravery to be your truest selves.

As for seeing out this personal wish I have—one of the things that I really most want to see in the world is a healthy, beautiful, harmonious relationship between us humans and planet earth. I have never been able to sit with the fact that we can be so destructive toward our home, toward life, toward each other; it has always struck me in a very painful way. I passionately wish for our children and their children to grow up in a healthy, harmonious, beautiful world, and I very much fear that will not be the case if we do not alter the course we, as humans, have been on.

So this campaign will be to benefit Earthjustice, a non-profit law organization dedicated to fighting battles to protect our environment (especially crucial at this moment in time when so many evil attempts are being made to try to eradicate our progress on this front). Earthjustice fights on behalf of many of the environmental organizations you know and love (free of charge). Basically, they're the legal team defending Earth herself, and that is superhero-level awesomeness in my book.

These wishes for the world are such a core part of me and have been for as long as I can remember. A fact which became ridiculously obvious when I found an early journal from when I was 10 years old—for giggles, I’ll share a few quick entries and poems I wrote in it. (Note: for authenticity’s  sake I have transcribed them precisely, minus the misspellings- which were many, and egregious).


“The Drive”

As I drive to my grandmother’s house

we pass by the chemical plants

I protect my nose from the horrible smell

I watch the smoke swirling into the air

And all I see is Death

Death,

where the trees once were

and now there is this

Death,

swarming in the smoke from the killing chemicals

 

Journal Entry

The most beautiful place in the world to me is nowhere,

because I have not been everywhere in the world

and there are so many places I cannot decide.

But the most beautiful place that is not real, would be a place that was clean, and there is no air pollution, and no war.

There would be a lot of animals, and it would have a lot of plants,

and no crime. And when it snowed, the snow would be crisp white snow, not slush.

 

Gift

The gift of life is such a magical thing

How trees grow and how birds sing

How the wind blows

And how the lightning bug glows

Why things fall

Why we are here at all

Why the world turns

Why the sun burns

And why don’t we all just forget our concerns?


So yeah, pretty obviously I did not really “fit in” with my contemporaries, per say. I also chose to stop eating meat in the 1980’s in NYC when vegetarianism was not yet really a thing in my circles. I certainly hadn’t seen any examples; it just seemed wrong to me to eat animals, so I didn’t and basically I was the really weird girl for quite awhile until a few years later when other girls in my class chose to be vegetarians, too, and the world changed and expanded for me, and I learned I wasn’t alone in how I wanted to eat—though I never stopped being very weird for so many other reasons.

The important takeaways for us in that tale are: 1) that I am very odd and 2) that we don’t need to see others doing something or living a certain way in order for us to have the permission to do what we feel is right. In fact, all the people I most admire in this world don’t give in to the fear of being the odd one out, but instead set a new reality by bravely sticking out from the crowd. They follow their hearts, and then perhaps the world catches up one day.

It is so easy for us to get focused on and consumed by what is wrong with the world—what is flawed, what is missing in life—and yet, when we do this we can miss our opportunity to create the world as we wish it could be. I am not saying that refusing to conform and creating the world anew is an easy proposition, but it is our chance to find and share and give happiness, and it is not nearly as hard when we form a team that has each other’s backs and cheers each other on. So yes, it is in our power to live with joy, not to simply sit back and wish that an angel—a hero–would come out of nowhere to fix things, but to choose to be those angels, those heroes ourselves. We too often think that our happiness and our salvation lies outside of us, but it is always within us.

This all ties together, because what this campaign is about is multifold:

1) It benefits Earthjustice, which is an amazing organization and fits my dreams of wishing to save the Earth.

2) The message behind the campaign will be about being what we most wish would exist in this world: being our own saviors, our own heroes, by our actions creating the world as the loving, kind, and good place we wish and know it can be.

3) As part of the campaign, I am hoping we will share with each other what it is that we are doing to be this—to be what it is we want to exist in the world. And when defining what that is for ourselves and for one another, there should be no judgment or measuring of deeds. We may find that it is in the smallest-seeming things that make us feel most alive, most ourselves, most the embodiment of that spirit of good (perhaps it is making breakfast for our children, smiling at a stranger, telling a friend that they are loved), but let’s share that, let’s grow that. The world needs more of this truth, this love, and we all need reminding that we share this wish with so many. I want that for you more then anything, because your love and support has given that to me, and I can never thank you enough.

Also the icing on the (birthday) cake, is that July 29th (tomorrow) happens to be my birthday, so if you want to know what to give me (hint, hint) it's this: be a part of this campaign when it launches on August 13th, support these causes so dear to me, and be a part of this awesome team we have striving to make the world as kind and beautiful as it should be.

-Rachel Miner


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