Difference makers bring justice and compassion
"Difference makers" is what The Spokesman-Review is calling people whose stories they have been covering recently.
"We share stories of people who make a difference because of their faith and values." That is how The Fig Tree defines our mission.
We rejoice that The Spokesman Review in joining us in this heartening, hope-filled venture about what people are doing because they care, seek justice, build peace and serve the community. We add the piece of "because of their faith and values" as our style for covering "religion news."
We welcome them because there are simply too many stories to cover and we do not have the space in 12 pages tabloid size to fit all the details they can add as stories carry over one or two pages sometimes, like a Dec. 22 story on Twa-le Abrahamson-Swan. We have covered stories of her efforts over the years, and those of her mother, Deb. The S-R story gave extensive background into her community involvement with her mother, her working for uranium-mine cleanup, studying environmental science, working to improve the air quality on the Spokane reservation, carving canoes and starting the River Warrior Society aiding community elders and helping after wildfires on the reservation. It's an ongoing story.
It's the kind of news that gives people hope and helps them realize they, too, can make a difference.
It's not just bland, cheery stories, but it's stories, as many in this issue, about people who have struggled and experience trauma. Rather than being defeated by the pain, they emerge to decide they want to walk beside others who are experiencing struggle and trauma, not just on the personal level but from injustice, oppression, hate, stereotypes, isolation and exclusion.
It's especially heartening to have such news when the whirlwind of politics continues to spread anxiety on the one hand and offer assurance of calm on the other hand. After all the stress and disruption COVID has brought us, with seeming endless insecurity, it's reassuring to have some news of the avenue forward of possibilities, not chaos, for the new year.
Whatever the changes, we still need to be called by the examples of people who know they must continue to find ways to respond to the new problems and new opportunities to make a difference in their own lives, their families, their communities, their cultures, their societies, their nations and the world—as have many who spoke at the recent ethics conference on the Columbia River.
The article on leadership gives us a new perspective that leadership is not power over others but sharing power with others to move people toward justice, equity and inclusion.
Mary Stamp – Editor
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, January, 2021