NOTORIOUS GOOD TROUBLE
I am suspecting it is time for me to start a bit of good trouble.
It is beyond unsettling for me that in these incredibly troubling times we are also experiencing the loss of two individuals that I consider to be among our greatest American heroes.
John Lewis. Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Good trouble. Notorious.
I will not go into their incredible accomplishments here. Their contributions could fill volumes. Suffice it to say that they used their talents, intellects, faith, drive, their very lives in serving something greater than themselves. They were relentless public servants. They overcame obstacles and prejudices in order that the overcoming would pave the way and inspire others. They courageously challenged the status quo, risking themselves to uplift others. Through various forms of repeated adversity, they continuously pushed the boundaries of what had been, to make room for what was seeking to be.
He spent his life starting good trouble that benefited us all. She inadvertently became known as notorious just by being what she naturally was. I think she started more than her share of good trouble. And I think John Lewis was gorgeously notorious.
And just when we most need a huge helping of notorious good trouble, they are gone.
Or are they?
I can vividly feel their energy as I type these words. I can hear their words, and the tone with which they delivered them. I can see them laughing, and I can see them crying. They led us bravely, and they inspired us relentlessly. They set a high bar, and they also gave us clear directions how to jump the hurtles now before us. They continued fighting and serving through incredible health challenges. They showed up fully and authentically right up to the end.
They will be heroes for me for as long as I live. I know my world is better because of how they chose to live and to serve. I beyond admire them. I mourn their passing. I grieve.
And now I must act.
I was taught from the earliest age not to ever start trouble. Nobody likes a troublemaker, Taylor. Stay in your lane. Obey the rules. Do not ruffle too many feathers, and certainly do not offend those in power. Blending in is safer than standing out. And notorious? No way. Not in my tribe.
I am breathing a bit more deeply as I bring forth the energy in my heart and shape it into words. I feel some fluttering in my gut, and a slight constriction in my throat. My pulse seems to have quickened.
Can it be?
I can speak about my heroes. I can blog about their remarkable character and accomplishments. I can grieve and lament the loss.
And beyond that I can become a little more of what they inspired in me.
I will never face the unbearable torment visited upon John Lewis. I will never know the hardships and obstacles placed in front of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I will never serve in Congress of sit upon the Supreme Court.
But I can start a little good trouble right where I am.
I can be a little more notorious in how I confront injustice. In how I speak truth to power. In how I live and in how I love.
It is said that what we admire is a quality that must be within ourselves. We could not recognize these admirable traits if we did not also possess them.
So, somewhere in my Light shadow is a troublemaker for good. Lurking somewhere just out of awareness is a notorious being simmering to express.
In honor of my heroes I am going to notoriously start a little good trouble. I am going to get out of lane. I am going to stand up taller and speak out more clearly. I am going to risk the ridicule. In fact, I will relish it.
Fitting in is highly overrated.
Thank you, John Lewis.
Thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
You will never cease to inspire me. I will never cease to hold you in a heartful of gratitude and deep love.
And I will do more than just remember you. I will share a little more of you. A littler more trouble. Good trouble. Notorious good trouble.
And I know at some level you will be with me. Cheering me on. With angels like you, there will be trouble for sure.