Radical Joy Revealed
September 28, 2016
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe. 

Burnt land
Burnt Landscape, by Leah Siegel

Dianne Monroe is a writer, photographer, and experiential educator living in Sonoma County, California. She has been active in Radical Joy for Hard Times from the beginning, hosting a Global Earth Exchange each year and leading a Gulf Coast Rising event in 2010. The following excerpt is from her recent "Lessons from the Holocaust for Our Times, Part 2," published in Transition Voice and other sources. To read the full article, click here.
 
"My mother didn't die when so many others did--and so lived to give birth to me. I write about this now, because it has everything to do with today, even though the cataclysm in which so many perished happened more than 75 years ago." This is how I began Part 1 of "Lessons from the Holocaust for Our Times, A Personal Mythology," which tells the story of how my mother's family, Dutch Jews, escaped the Holocaust in which at least 75% of Holland's Jews perished.

What can this personal story from the past tell us about the times we live in today?
 
Recognize that the depth and meaning of your life, your own soul purpose and spark of brilliance is intertwined with the challenges and turmoil of our times.
 
"The inner seeded story of the individual soul is secretly tied to the great drama of our world," writes mythologist Michael Meade. The place where these two join together is where you will find the greatest meaning in your life. Crisis will shape you, change you, bring out things within that you never suspected were there. What you do (or turn away from doing) will shape you. Stretching to be your largest self will change you. Offering of yourself, to others, to the future, will widen your vision and horizon--and deepen your life's meaning. Be willing to step into, not turn away from, the crisis of our times....
 
I grew up wondering about the people in Europe during World War II. Who were the people that turned away, who refused to look at the terrible things happening to others, sometimes literally right next door to them? And who were the people that did not turn away, who risked their lives for others? I wonder that same thing when I see rising tides (in our country and Europe) of anti-immigrant hostility, xenophobia, Islamophobia. We won't all do the same thing in the same way, just as those who resisted the Nazis did not all do the same thing. The important thing for each of us is finding the right thing(s) to do--and doing it. It may just save your life--your spirit and soul life, and possibly your physical life as well. Perhaps it all comes down to what may be the one essential question of our times - How can we be worthy ancestors for our descendants (human and otherwise)?
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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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Each week Radical Joy Revealed comes to you free of charge with inspiring stories and suggestions for living with endangered places in creative, life-affirming ways. It takes thought, imagination, and a sense of timing to uncover and write the stories, choose just the right images to accompany them, and prepare them for distribution, and we could use your financial help. Please show your support of Radical Joy Revealed by making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization.

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