When you’re an adult, you can eat out 3 or 4 nights a week and not have to worry about any immediate financial consequence.
When you’re an adult, you can stay up until 3am without anyone telling you no.
When you’re an adult, you can eat jellybeans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When you’re an adult, you can spend hundreds of dollars on a flight ticket back to Selma, Alabama for a Summer Institute on Nonviolence and Conflict Reconciliation, just because you feel like it.
This week, I did three of the four adult things listed above. And I’ll give you a hint, the jellybeans thing didn’t happen.
So, in other words, I AM GOING BACK TO SELMA! And yes, it kind of is as simple as “I feel like it,” but there are other reasons, too, that I think are relatable to any other “adult” out there.
- As a twentysomething, I think this is so important. I think most of us are college grads, so we are kind of in this weird transition between our college community and possibly creating our own family community. What’s in between? What does that community look like? For me, that’s one of the reasons why Buffalo wasn’t the easiest for me – it really lacked in the community I was looking for. But in Selma, the community was instantaneous. I felt it immediately. And sure enough, I was able to stay in touch with so many people there, who I am now honored to call my friends. I think as we grow, we start to form and develop all different types of communities, all over the world, and I’m glad to be returning to Selma, a community that is so close to my heart.
- The organization in Selma, Something New, is hosting a Nonviolence Institute. They are incorporating Dr. Martin Luther King’s 6 Principles of Nonviolence, and teaching us how to teach others about these principles. In today’s world, there is no better time for this training. Professionally, I know I will be able to take this training with me wherever I go, but to be honest, I’m also really looking forward to the personal growth and development that I will experience. As someone who wants to learn as much as they can about advocacy, I think this training will provide the invaluable historical context and modern day tools that I have been searching for. As a twentysomething, our formal education might be over, but education is always worth investing in.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” In Selma, I have never felt a greater, deeper love. And in a world full of hate, I think my soul needs to be refueled with love. It’s in the small gestures. The invitations to dinner, the airport pickups, the genuine “how are you doing?” Selma has taught me such an expansive definition of love. As this week’s podcast episode of Invisibilia mentioned, it’s the concept of “noncomplementarity.” When you show love, love will be reciprocated. When you radiate positive energy, other positive energy will be drawn to you.
Selma, I am ready for you.
However, I know we all can’t go to Selma (or maybe, the South just isn’t your thing). In what other ways are you finding your community, learning from it, and seeking love there? I don’t think these three things are “the keys to life,” or anything so serious, but I do think they hold a significant value.
What do you think?