The Call for Community, Art, and Artists in the Resistance Movement


This week, members of the Nurse Manifest Team gathered together by the warmth of our computer screens for engaging video conference. We took the time to welcome some new members and talk about the future of the movement. I have to say for me, being with like minded #NurseResisters was so energizing (even though I have been suffering through a bout of the flu this week!) and also very comforting.

It’s important for #NurseResisters to remember we are not alone and to gather those around us during these challenging times: when change seems to be happening at a rapid pace, when social media pages are filled with what resisters might find to be concerning or bad governmental news, when there are 10 things you would like to take action on, but you can’t be on the phone all day….it can become easy to become discouraged, overwhelmed, or burned out. This is where truly being with a like minded community can lift your spirits and buoy your endurance.

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And endurance is what we will need. I know right now it sometimes feel like a sprint…get out there and get things done now, get to this march, make your signs, write your emails and postcards, get on the phone….because the administration has been creating changes at a rapid pace, the media and social media have been bumping up our energy, and we feel drawn to create change now.

The thing is, this is not a sprint and it’s not a solo race…it’s more like a team based marathon or ultra-marathon, and it is going to take teams of like minded community members to both participate in and complete the race.

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Individual Sprint

Versus

Team Marathon

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We need to carry lights, march together through the dark night with our nightingale lamps, and strive toward unity. There is no clear finish line, and no medals for winners, second, and third place. There is a beautiful planet and population of people that need caring for and this endurance test is in part about not giving up that vision of a caring, compassionate, kind, peaceful, unified, and spirit filled world.

I suggest other #NurseResisters start gathering with your communities in real life or as we did last week, in real time via video or phone conferencing. Set aside thoughtful, meaningful time to be together, to discuss future actions, and also to just support one another, to laugh together, to share your stories. Communities can rejuvenate and recharge us, and they are a must for folks who plan to run the long race.

I also did want to share that part of our discussion last week focused on the use of humor, satire, parody, art, and music to support and gather people together. Saturday Night live is becoming a great example of the power of humor, parody, and satire to help us lighten our load, to help us rejuvenate, to connect us across time and space.

 

 

While there are many older political songs we can use (Carol King just re-released One Small Voice with free download!: https://soundcloud.com/user-844282824/one-small-voice), it remains imperative that we also create new art and new music that reflects our current siutation here, now in 2017. Until then, let’s be strong together:

“One small voice speaking out in honesty
Silenced, but not for long
One small voice speaking with the values
we were taught as children
Tell the truth
You can change the world
But you’d better be strong”

(Carole King/ copyright Rockingdale Records).

 

Guidelines for Resistance


It has been one week since we posted the Nurses Declaration of Solidarity and Resistance, and today we registered 833 signatories, and still counting!  But what matters is that nurses are not only signing this Declaration, but we are acting in our communities all over the world to put the values of this Declaration into action. We have heard from many nurses directly who have said “I have never taken this kind of action before, but now I am doing it.”

Of course not all nurses share the commitment that we have put forward, and we respect any challenge or difference of opinion.  The fact remains that there are hundreds of nurses who, like growing numbers of our colleagues and neighbors, continue to be alarmed by the actions of the new administration.  The book “Don’t Think of an Elephant” by George Lakoff has helped me to understand the perspectives that different people have concerning what is happening in our nation and the world. Recently a friend heard Professor Lakoff speak of central guidelines for resistance – ways to avoid inadvertently helping the new administration, ways to resist, and ways to promote the values that stand on the side of health and justice.  These guidelines can be applied not only to public action, but to our own language and thinking about the situation we are in:

1. Don’t use the name of the new President, and do not repeat his tweets.
2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone;
3. Do not argue with those who support him–it doesn’t work;
4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;
5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow.
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk
7. Support artists and the arts
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it.
9. Take care of yourselves; and
10. Resist!

If you have not found your way yet to a place and time to take specific political action.in your community, go to the Indivisible Guide website – and start by searching for groups in or near your zip code.  Read the guide, talk with your friends, explore existing groups or form one of your own.

When you get involved in a group, let everyone know that you are a nurse, and that you are speaking up based on the values that nurses hold dear! Together we can make a difference! And let us know here!  Add your comment to our blog any time to share what you are doing, because your action inspires all of us to act in our own ways and times!

Making a list – of ways to support health, equality and justice for all


A couple of days ago I received an email from Elizabeth Berrey, who is one of this project’s leaders, in response to my post of November 15, “Grieving for my country.” Her message inspired me to think quite specifically about the list of things that I will do over the coming months to participate in action to resist the dangers that are becoming more and more clear in the US and world-wide, threatening the health and well-being of world citizens everywhere.  After all, his is the time of year that our children are making lists in anticipation of the December holidays,  At the same time, the notion of “lists” in and of itself raises a specter of danger for many – for example, there is now a website recruiting names of “liberal professors” (see report here and here).

So let’s be clear – making a list of ways we can act and be involved can serve to inspire others, particularly those who are tempted to give up in despair given what is happening around us.  But the list must also lead to action – and this is what is so inspiring about Elizabeth’s message.  We may not agree about the specific ways to act, and we can certainly have a discussion about the race, class and economic implications of any action we choose to raise awareness in the quest for finding the best and most effective avenues.  But unless we act, and support those who are choosing different paths than our own, we in fact support the forces of injustice.

Elizabeth has given me permission to post her message here – so here it is, lightly edited, in the hope that the actions she is taking will inspire you to go beyond a mere list – to find your own ways to get involved!

Hi Peggy,
I have now read your post & sent it to my kids, some nurses, & other non-nurses.  I especially like that youEB-Photo-250 said that we must be ready at a moment’s notice. I also read the replies to date. Thx so much for clarifying to the person who wrote that we should stand with Trump & give him a chance.
I have been wearing, & will continue to wear, my safety pin – a large one in the top hole of my left ear. I brought safety pins to our NMOLOC  (New Mexico Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) Gathering this month, & explained what it means to the old Lesbians gathered. Our Unitarian church handed them out the 2 Sundays after the elections, with explanations for the whole congregation & especially the children.
As I think that I told you, I am working here in NM to get our state legislatures to sign onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Nurses across the country could do this, too! They could certainly activate their nursing associations to lobby their state legislators to sign onto this compact. This is the 2nd time that the electoral college has overturned the majority vote in this country since the turn of this century, for heavenssakes! As someone on the Laurence O’Donnell show said a couple of wks ago, “What we call the popular vote here in the US is called the vote in the rest of the world!”
We are organizing our NMOLOC chapter to show up in Santa Fe for the Million Women March (our state’s version). We’ll have our old Lesbian banner, of course!
We are planning training in resistance in our NMOLOC chapter for the coming yr — reminding us all of what we learned, and practiced, so many yrs ago. As you say, we must be ready!

Here’s a way to help people in crisis!


Recently I learned about the crisis text line – 741-741.  I immediately made sure my granddaughters, 10 and 12 and avid texters, knew about this line and made sure they knew how and when to use it.  It’s success is remarkable, as you can see from the TED talk by founder Nancy Lublin below. This project grew out of the much larger project – DoSomething.org – a campaign to take action and create social change on behalf of young people. 

As nurses, and as nurse manifesters, this is a terrific resource to know about, talk about and share with others. It is exactly the kind of activism that is doable, and that can make a big difference in the world. So I invite you to explore the Crisis Text Line resource!  You might even  consider applying to become a counselor! Here are some highlights to explore:

Have you ever considered being on a Board?


Here at the NurseManifest project, we have tended to emphasize grass roots, “on the street” kinds of activism to bring our deepest nursing values into everyday experience.  But manifesting nursing values needs to happen everywhere, and one of the spheres whereconference-table this is vitally important is in the Board Rooms, large and small.  Lisa Sundean, who is one of our NurseManifest bloggers, is embarking on her dissertation project to explore nurses on Boards, and in the interest of sharing her work wide and far, she has established website and blog – SundeanRN.org!  Her first blog post is now available, explaining why this is vitally important!  I highly recommend that you read her post: What do Boards Have to do with Nursing?  And if you have never considered serving in this capacity, think about it now!  We need to be manifesting nursing everywhere – at the bedside, the chairside, the curbside, and yes, the board side!