A More Complete and Content Family

by Shaun Terry

Today, storytellers in Latin America, Africa, former Soviet republics, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and “The West” are writing a redemption story. They’ll write tomorrow, too, because these sisters- and brothers-in-arms share the apparent delusion that the world and its constituents are good, and if only we can shine a light of intentional compassion, or maybe compassionate intention, on complicated agents, then all the world might share a glow of peace and love.

But we’re not picking daisies; no, our songs today are rebel cries. Our hands come together to form fists that punch upwardly, piercing the sky in solidarity with one another and with everyone who’s suffered some injustice.

We had various reasons for joining in this space, but what we shared was the seed of a revolution born of love, for the vulnerable among us, and it’s now grown into a seedling and we’ll feed it until it’s grown into a big, strong tree. This place, this transformative experience, made clear to us that hope is not a thing of preachy artists, Hollywood kitsch, or mere pretentiousness and esoteric ideals. We looked into one another’s eyes and saw the brave vulnerability that allows bold revolutionaries to say that they can spark a fire that consumes and rebuilds our world into a place that provides greater health, happiness, and love to its inhabitants.

We see that we have flaws, and we can imagine a more perfect set of circumstances, but this place brought would-be dreamers and heartened idealists into common and crossing paths so that we were able to see family where distant strangers had stood. And we saw the elements of ignition in one another and our hearts quickened and our eyes widened and our faces smiled at the prospect of spreading the thoughtful, inclusive freedom and justice of which we’d been dreaming.

In a land of so much beauty and such brazen ideas as peace and equity, I built the kind of family that one gets to choose, the kind of family for which I had long ached, and now I know that my family extends to the most remote corners and crevices of the oddly-shapen globe on which we reside. I am your brother, and I know I can yell it with confidence and pride. Thank you all. With love.