Warning: naughty language ahead!
My name is Ayva Cowell and, at 29, I have no excuses.
I am healthy, strong and well-educated. I have clean water to drink, nourishing food to eat and a roof over my head. I have a loving family and an inspiring, supportive community. I am safe. I am free to decide my own destiny. And yet, despite all of these things—or maybe because of them—I am stuck.
Amidst infinite media, I am locked in a constant loop of watching people whose lives are directly affected by sorrow, hardship, disease, disaster and strife take on the bigger and bigger challenges facing our planet while I stand idly by. I watch and read and listen with the intention of collecting enough knowledge and capacity that one day I, too, can stand up for something I believe in and enact real change—of the big variety.
And yet today, and every day, I hesitate. Today—everyday—I don’t know what to do or where to turn. So I make my coffee, keep working on what I’m working on, and wait. Do you wait too?
What the hell are we waiting for?
The powers that be have led us to believe that until we know everything, we don’t know enough to act. Governments, institutions, corporations and conventional media have led us down a path of caution and conservatism.
But there’s no time.
We have been led away from gaiya: from community, from spirit and from love. We’ve been told that if we’re concerned about these things, we’re frivolous, flaky or impractical. As a species we have been divided. We’ve been force-fed a diet of separateness that does not exist. As above, so below. As are you, so am I. No longer will I wait and watch the destruction of our planet and its people and creatures: of our collective spirit.
I know I can be of use. As can you. And not in an I’m-going-to-take-out-the-
Have you stood up for something today? Fuck the gym. Fuck keeping your desk organized. Fuck every other New Year’s resolution that revolves around you. Zoom out. Take in your bigger sphere of influence and reach out to someone else. Can each of us, every day, starting now, improve the lives of those around us? The more beings we strive to connect with and support—animal, vegetable, or human—the better.
Stop waiting. Start doing. Make 2015 the turning point; make it the year that you stand up, put on your damn cape, and fight whatever brand of injustice you see with every under-appreciated bone in your still-breathing human body.
We are enough. We know enough. We can offer enough. I’m going to prove it. You in?
Author: Ayva Cowell
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Zach Hertzman, Times & Paper / Ayva Cowell