Using a Both/And methodology.

I have been sitting with the election results of yesterday. It is, to say the least, very disheartening. There have been several spiritual and other leaders that have been saying the system is corrupt and our votes are worth nothing so don’t bother (Russel Brand I’m looking at YOU). I feel this is incredibly irresponsible.
Why must things be either/or? Why can’t they be both/and? We may, in fact, be voting for the lesser of two evils. Both leading parties may be owned by the same people. But not even making your voice heard, not even trying seems incredibly counter productive.
We cannot go directly from laissez faire capitalism to the gift economy. We cannot go directly from a rugged individualism, competitive style of governance to cooperative community based governance over night. That does not mean we shouldn’t be working towards a more equitable sustainable way of life.
This work is generational. As I sit here disheartened by some political and spiritual leaders telling people not to vote while feeling the wrongness of the election results it is hard for me not be angry. They say they want change in the system and then do nothing and encourage others to do nothing allowing others to elect people that will further decimate our environment, our rights as women, our national parks, our safety nets-such as they are. This makes a bigger mess to clean up, it makes no sense to me.
I really see it as both/and. Vote. Choose the lesser of two evils AND also do the work you need to do to build the alternatives you want to see in the world. Plant trees you will never sit in the shade of or eat the fruits of. Scatter organic native wildflower seeds for the bees and other pollinators. Create community or join communities that are doing the work you want to see done in the world.
Prevention is so much easier than repair. Our millions of small positive actions IN ADDITION to voting in a system that many feel is rigged will eventually win out. Both/and not either/or will be how we can change this world for the better.
While I know Gandhi is problematic this quote from him is something I keep on my desk, “When I despair I remember that all through history there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always.”
We really need to think of the long term. Change our actions now and build what we want to see. Do what we can in the system that is here now. We cannot change the acculturation of centuries overnight but we must begin. We must become the foundation. We must give our children and grandchildren something solid to build on. Destroying what is without providing an alternative will only create a vacuum. We must give those that come after us something solid to build on.