You may have noticed: Kloncke has gone fallow. The reasons are many. Organizing, relationships, new job. Transitions. I haven’t been writing much at all. Creating and co-creating has been very verbal, with lots of processing, planning, and preparing.
Back here on this blog, I feel tongue-tied. Not in a bad way, necessarily. Just kind of in the way that I was never really one to scream on roller coasters. When the ups and downs of life feel huge and pronounced, I have nothing more to say.
Mostly I feel grateful.
This winter when things got difficult, I fell into a funk. Now, with the sun out, and the possibility of a day at the beach with a new friend, the obstacles feel more surmountable. Richer, even.
Lately I’ve been wondering more about what my role might be.
What is my particular purpose and contribution in the various projects I’m doing?
What kind of team member am I? And what kind of team do I want to play for?
There is a lot of privilege in these questions, especially when it comes to livelihood. I have many more options, as far as jobs go, than most people in the world — especially in this economy, and because of my higher ed scholarship, which has made me miraculously debt-free.
On the other hand, to the extent that privilege means Easier To Land A Cozy Job, it doesn’t necessarily lead to a better life.
Less stressful, yes.
More effectively revolutionary?
Contributing to co-creating the kind of world we want, for ourselves and others?
Today at work, we had a conversation about right livelihood, though not in those terms — one of the people is Christian, and I’m not sure whether she thinks of the issue according to Buddhist principles. Anyway, the Christian person said that many of her friends are quitting their jobs (and in this economy!) because they can’t stand it any longer: being complicit in whatever it is that their job is doing. (Exploiting someone, somewhere. You barely need to scratch the surface to find it, most of the time.) They just couldn’t take being a part of that company. And no hope of trying to change it from the inside.
And yet, we reflected, most people are lucky to get any job whatsoever.
And, what if you use your position in your job in order to organize?
Rather than trying to reform the company, what about strategically positioning oneself to connect, worker to worker? And beyond — into communities and other workplaces affected by the work? (Teachers and students organizing with parents; miners and loggers acting in solidarity with people indigenous to the land being exploited.)
And that’s not to say that workplace organizing is easy. Especially revolutionary workplace organizing that aims beyond standard-of-living reforms and tries to challenge the toxic structures of racist, heteropatriarchal capitalism.
But that’s why I think that maybe — maybe — the true privilege is to live in a time and place where healing and resisting with comrades is possible. Whether through paid work or unpaid work.
Hope you’re well, friends. And thank you, Rich, for this marvelous day at the beach. :)
Ooooo… I love this post, Katie. And I love how the photos of the ocean and the birds in between the words create so much more spaciousness to what you’re saying here.
As I settle into my good karma lab to create something I’m calling the “Fall in Love with Your Work” e-course, I’d love to share what you write here with the group of folks who will go through that adventure in July. I’d love to see all of us empowered to be workplace organizers and change agents for a more equitable, joyful, and loving world… and your post is good medicine for that healing.
Aw, thank you for the love, Maia. You’re more than welcome to share the post — I’m sure your e-course will be fantastic, and I’m honored to be included in any way. :)
you are soooo welcome Katie :) and thank you for sharing these honest and precious questions… navigating sustainability, individually or collectively, can quickly become a moral minefield when trying to be in integrity with other humans and the planet. May we all do the very best we can, and engage radical creativity along the way….
and yes, this was a lovely day :)