Change is in the air.... With multiple burgeoning demonstrations, protests, and movements toward political change throughout the world, it feels as if a major shift is occurring in the way we think about our governments and leaders as well as the rights of all people.
This is true here in Wisconsin, USA as well as in Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya. Several days ago a picture taken in Egypt showed a protester there expressing support for demonstrators in Madison, WI with a sign that reads, "Egypt Supports Wisconsin Workers.... One World, One Pain."
As politicians and media commentators criticize Wisconsin Democrats for leaving the state in order to prevent Gov. Scott Walker's (R) efforts at union busting, there is indeed precedent for this nontraditional approach to blocking legislation. Today a friend forwarded me an article that described an 1840 effort by then-state Rep. Abraham Lincoln to save the State Bank of Illinois.
After Democrats agreed to allow a measure which assured that the bank would fail, the Whigs tried to counter by leaving the capitol building before the vote. The doors were locked. Lincoln headed for the second story of the capitol building in Springfield, IL, opened a window, and jumped to the ground!
Lincoln's leap out a window occured 170 years ago and ultimately failed. Yet, according to the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 19, 2011), the tactic of quorum avoidance dates back at least to the days when the U.S. Constitution was being debated.
When I hear these stories of political unrest and unheaval, I remind myself that these dangerous, turbulent times may well lead to great change around the world. Then ... I step into my T'ai Chi Chih practice and release myself into the energetic oneness of the Universe.
Though we may all feel that the world is in major unheaval, my practice reminds me that it is all good. And ... the more often that I--and others--can remain grounded, centered, and focused, the more possibility there may be for positive, lasting change that benefits us all.