I’m returning home
from a bag it yourself grocery,
and listening to an African-American novelist
respond to questions,
actual open-ended real NPR questions,
like old school inquisitive journalists once asked
before the polarizing days and nights
of fake right/wrong answer questions
and their concomitant fake avoid entrapment non-responses.
I don’t hear his name,
or the title of his latest published work,
although it may be The Water Dancer
but then again, maybe not.
You would think I would be too embarrassed
to courageously publish
But, he says,
“We do not do well
to expect courageous behavior
or something to that political and economic effect.
Thinking with him about the slavery/property-ownership system,
about capitalization and colonization and commodification systems,
my first response
is to celebrate
this profound and wise soundbite,
and true to my own experience
of disempowering monoculturing systems.
But, then I think of several exceptions
to the cowardice incentivizing rule
of authoritarian systems,
Like wildly robust cooperative ecosystems
and even vulnerable volunteer ego-systems,
biosystems zealously loyal to win/win compassionate outcomes
without which we would have no language systems
or experience of courage
integrity or fragmenting mendacity.
Yet, why does he so boldly say,
and why do I so instinctively and enthusiastically agree,
that systems produce win/lose compromising
bureaucratic timid behavior?
Too often hidden shadows
lurking behind deliberate non-communication.
This free and brave individual
competing against an unhealthy craven society
is a plot line
that seems to go back to Adam and Eve
playing blame and shame
with their Great Systemic Gardener.
Then I realize
it’s not that organic systems are unsupportive of co-invested courage,
it is corporate systems,
extractive technocratic systems
producing commodification of secularized values,
reduced from sacred courage and integrity and health
Rather than inviting wealthy health values
into our responsive compassionate selves
working and playing in cooperatively owned
responsible and authoritative,
nutritious and nurturing,
courageous and curious
flow systems of commonly-held ergodic energy
good healthy humor
Invocations wealthy and robust
with co-inspiring witness
listening and speaking unflinching compassion,
candor for self and other mutual health care
embodying interdependent Golden Rules
and zero ego/eco-ratio zones of co-acclimation.
Destroying curious and stressed systems
demands bad humored win/lose bullies
Creating resilient robust systems
invites good humored win/win courage
constantly changing curiosity.