13 November 2011

"Patient Endurance"

This was a big weekend in my small community. Our first power outage of the coming winter season hit on Friday, the day before our Transition group's Energy Action Day. (Ironic timing, eh? Talk about pointing out our energy vulnerabilities.)

Our Energy Action Day was a great event (despite the school having only half power all day), with great speakers, great movies, great displays, great kids' activities, great local food — and a fire alarm that emptied the school gym right near the end of the day. (Okay, that part wasn't so great.) Many, many thanks to Zorah for making it happen!

With so many challenges, it was a day for patience. And then this morning, a friend showed me this quote:
"I think that staying power is a quality we need very badly and that very few people have. They seem to lack long-term courage, that creative patience – not the sort of patience that is basically a sort of apathy, but the sort of patience that knows how to go on and on until the end appears — to hang on to the vision until it is possible to be creative with it, and not to give up one's vision just because things seem hopeless.

"The New Testament writers had a special word for this: 'hypomene.' It meant 'patient endurance,' the ability to be poised to do what needed doing even though all the going seemed to be against one — staying power — desperately needed — and very few people have it.... And that staying power calls on deep spiritual resources, on a deep peace within ourselves."

— Thomas Cullinan, OSB, in Peacemaking: Day by Day

Someone else online describes hypomene as meaning "Stand your ground. Stick to your post. Don't give up. Don't go back."

Do you remember that last week I talked about climate change activism as spiritual work? Well, these quotes remind me of my husband's dedication and almost religious commitment to the climate change fight. I want to thank him for his patient endurance, and for teaching me to never give up. My love and gratitude and compassion go out to all others who have staying power when it comes to safeguarding the future for all the children.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?