We had drum circles before we had democracy
I was having coffee while talking with my friend, Devin. And on the table was the book "Devil's Bargain", about Trump and the backstory of his rise to power. Devin and I share a need to stay informed about the socio-political climate surrounding all of us in 2018. We both agree that we want to intelligently explain to our kids and grandkids what actually happened. And emotionally we are in solidarity with the suffering caused by the powers that be that right now.
But we asked ourselves and each other if we are being selfish by investing in our art, our expression, and our own spiritual path. After years of reflecting on this, I firmly believe that we fight for human rights, for equality, for acceptance and love because that is what sustains expression, communication, celebration, artistry, community and healing. But it is also those artistic and expressive elements that sustain human rights and equality. We need music festivals, theater shows, and dance performances as a foundation of healthy interaction on an inter-personal level and then further out, on a larger governmental level. How else do we solve complex social problems if we don't have spaces to be together, to share personal stories, and collectively feel the kick-drum vibrating through our chest?
Long ago, we were around camp fires singing and drumming together, acting out stories about animals, gods, and creation. Self-governance was an outgrowth of shared ritual, music, and movement.
So although we don't still have that level of communal intimacy and dependence, we need to support those artistic, expressive, and foundational elements of human existence if we want to tackle larger issues.
We had drum circles before we had democracy, and we'll need them again if we want to save our democracy.