Strategy, Suffering, and Impact: A Personal Reflection by RW CEO Angela Parker
The first and most appropriate reaction to human violence is to hear the deafening crack of our own hearts. The second is to wail. Dig our nails into the mud and cover ourselves with ashes. Gather the rage. Let it wreak havoc until our lungs ache and our throats are raw. And when the voices say, “Get up! Do something!” – stay.
Do the thing you know to do – the only thing you can control – which is the inner work, the most difficult work. None of us can fold or shape the universe into what we think it should be, but that’s not our responsibility anyway. Our responsibility is to get angry enough, sad enough, dissatisfied enough, and hopeless enough to turn and face the tumult in our own souls. When we do the work of looking inward, we become people porous enough to recognize our purpose when it presents itself.
So, following this Juneteenth, in the aftermath of a global pandemic, police killings, and school shootings – stay. Be with the wisdom of a broken heart. Learn from the intelligence of rage. Let it shape you into someone loud. Threaten the systems that profit the oppressors. While it may feel counterintuitive in a productivity-driven society, doing our own inner work is how we each, individually, contribute to something greater than our strategic plans and impact metrics can predict.