There are amazing things happening everyday, everywhere, in every way. But mainstream media falls desperately short of reporting on this phenomenon. Fear rules the day, and the news people really need slips through the cracks. "Human Interest Stories" need a make-over and some sponsorship, stat!
We would do just that at the Solutionaries column by shining light on wonderful human beings doing amazing, ingenious, helpful, loving things out there to better our world- above and beyond saving cats in trees. Though that, too, is noble.
I first heard the term, "Solutionary" from my husband around the time we met. He had first heard it while working for the Sustainable Living Roadshow, a traveling eco-carnival that teaches environmental awareness, grassroots activism, and community development across the country to kids from 3 to 83. Founding SLR member, Jonathan Youtt, had bestowed the term- and its spirit- to my husband.
I was kind of amazed I'd never heard it before or thought of it. It seemed to me to really fit the 21st century and its unique and compelling needs. If being a revolutionary involves revolving around a problem to bring light to it, then a solutionary rides straight into the heart of it to emerge with some action. We can no longer count on revolt to shake our governments into action- it is up to us. It's our world. The old set-up is crumbling, to say the least. So what are the amazing humans doing today to change things? A lot, actually.
Anything that you can see in your mind's eye and put your attention to fully- and you embrace others around that vision- can be manifested.
This column is looking for those stories . . . of everyday heroes, ingenious innovations on large and small scales, hopeful, positive news (because you can find the heavy stuff everywhere else), bright new insights into old, traumatizing ways of being. Stories of people succeeding despite all odds, stories of the underdog, the disenfranchised and the oppressed, who are now leading humanity in moving past rhetoric and intellectualization and into meaningful action and deeply challenging but necessary healing. The Solutionaries column is an opportunity and an invitation to share your or your friend's and community's brave projects and initiatives that deserve a highlight.
It's been proven that the effects of "symbolic annihilation," or not seeing oneself or one's identifying groups represented in the media can have devastating effects. We'd like to work to change that by telling more diverse, changemaking stories. We also believe that there is a sort of symbolic annihilation also happening with regards to uplifting, life-affirming news.
While it's incredibly important to be informed, and it's a potent time in history to ask very difficult questions, Bombilore was also founded on the firm belief that if we are not also talking about solutions, and we aren't also aware of what's going well, who is succeeding, and how much LOVE is going around in this world, then we put ourselves at very real risk of- in our grief and feeling of helplessness- missing the opportunity to significantly change the world.
Grief is a crucial aspect of being alive at this time. We have to feel all the feelings. But when we put ourselves at the sole mercy of the deeply traumatic news cycle, which prides itself on continuing oppressive, violent narratives, it's much harder to come through the cycle of grief and back into action.
What has now become considered "radical hope" is to Bombilore simply the idea that the world is not only a balance of Light and Dark, but that in fact, if you look closely, Life always follows Death. President Obama has countless times reminded us how much better off so many aspects of life and culture are than they used to be. We can choose to focus on and elevate this truth- while keeping intimate company with the challenges of today- on our own terms, rather than by virtue of the media behemoths.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "The arc of the moral universe if long, but it always bends toward justice."
We hope you'll consider telling us about good work, positive solutions, advancements in research, applied research, and other innovations and creative change-making going on out there in the world, so that this column might become a place to find encouragement when we feel grief-stricken by the state of the world as well as to make connections with each other and share ideas!