With the anniversary of the “Women’s March” here, I really wanted to talk about vicegerency. I love the word “vicegerency”. It sounds so antiquated, maybe biblical, definitely regal, like I bear the weight of a crown or a kingdom upon my shoulders. Maybe I do. Maybe you do. Maybe we do.
When you google the definition of “vicegerency”, a definition comes up that I think is more in line with the term “vice-regent” and reflective of the western Biblical understanding of mankind being a ruler and dominant force on earth.
In eastern religious texts, vicegerency is more synonymous of a leader that serves rather than subjugates. I love that idea. Mankind has been put upon the earth to care for the earth and be a mercy upon it for all of humanity, animals, plants, nature and earth herself by keeping all things in balance.
“A perfect vicegerent is one who has the power of initiative himself, but whose independent action always reflects perfectly the will and love of the Creator towards all things.”
If we are rulers or the ultimate caretakers of the earth, we are failing.
The importance of ethics in humanity and the environment is especially important in this time where many species have become extinct and global climate change is impacting the earth, its denizens and our shared future.
The use of empathy and compassion in considering the impact of our actions on this planet not only serves to beautify our characters and make us rulers in the very best sense; it is necessary if we are to serve all of creation. In not expanding our perspectives and considerations, it ensures that we serve only our own selfish desires to the detriment of all else.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin L. King
So I really love the marches that have been born of women, men and children demanding dignity, respect and the right to not just live but thrive. Standing against the powers that be when we see “wrong”. Standing for the various causes that we all hold dear.
Most striking to me is that empathy and compassion ideally seem to be the loving undercurrent of this movement that says, “I stand for your right to demand better, even if I don’t experience your struggle or your perspective. I stand with you in solidarity”.
I feel that we are being reminded en masse that the power lies within us to demand better for all and by all. We walk together because it is our shared mission to improve our existence on earth for everyone and everything.
On the other hand, I’m so perplexed by the critics and trolls who call for the marchers to “sit down”, “go back to the kitchen”, ignorantly asking “what has your marching accomplished?” and “what rights do women not have?” I’m baffled by the intentional blindness, the lack of compassion and perspective. As well as their comfort level in being such “asshats”.
The audacity to ask, “What rights do women not have?” In a year of #metoo… of reported stories spanning decades of accepted sexual predatory abuse, where women still get paid less to do the same job as a man, unless you’re a minority and it’s even less. That doesn’t even touch on women’s rights in other countries or women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. Only a blind, entitled person could ask such a question, but this movement is still so much more than that.
These marches are not just for women. So I am just as perplexed by women who criticize the presence of politicians, trans, or Black Lives Matter. The marches were born from a sense of unity and needed cohesiveness in a time when it seems like every marginalized group and benefit to the common man is under attack and every resource has been opened to further exploitation. To separate themselves as if this were a march for women (and white women at that, due to some complaints of BLM) only serves to re-create the divisions that have been keeping us divided and more easily defeated.
The people are feeling underserved and underrepresented by our leaders and we are realizing that it is up to us to hold aloft the heavy burden of demanding and creating the establishment of a just society. The people are starting to understand “vicegerency”. We are all leaders and responsible in action or complicit silence for the kind of world that we accept living in.
We are demanding more of ourselves and the people and leaders around us. We are demanding that a better world be built, one that leaves no one behind. One that fights against the old barriers, labels, definitions, creeds and inequalities that have kept us separate for too long. If our demands cannot be met, we will make the changes ourselves by electing “them” out and ourselves becoming the leaders that we need.
That is vicegerency. That is authority. That deserves a fucking crown.
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