On Stands Now
June 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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I Dare You – My 2024

Changes Happen

I cannot write the column without mentioning May first, May Day, the Gaelic May Day festival, marking the beginning of summer and open pasturing. It is traditionally held on the first of May, midway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. In Irish the name for the festival is La’ Bealtaine, in Scottish Gaelic, Latha Bealtainn and in Manx Gaelic, Laa Boaltinn/Boaldyn. It is a celebration of the time of light and growth to come. The lighting of the Beltane fires provided an opportunity to cleanse and renew the conditions of a community through the growing power of the sun. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire, followed by a feast. Dancing around the maypole and hanging flowers on neighbors’ doors are other ways of celebrating the day. Beltane is a time to connect with the beauty and magic of nature and to celebrate new beginnings. Celebrate the light and be the Light for yourself and others. May we also remember our veterans on Memorial Day.

My column this month is about life changing events and how they affect you. Often life changing events are sudden and happen quickly; they are something we cannot prepare for. It can be a loss that we are not able to protect and or to save. Have you ever tried to protect something that was important to you? Did you advocate to protect it? Did it physically hurt your heart to witness the situation? Was it a change beyond your control? This can happen when your environment is altered or affected by human or natural causes. It can shake up your stability and peace of mind. It can be a life changing event that calls you to advocate for its welfare and longevity. Oftentimes it can be a loss, a time of grieving. Sudden changes initially can create pain and frustration, causing one to react before seeing the whole picture or believing in a different future.

Has this happened to you in your life when you felt the call to advocate for a cause beyond your control? How did you do it? How did you feel during the process and afterwards? Did you dare to address it, voice it, and solve it?

I tried to protect a piece of land that wasn’t mine but for decades has been open ground and a corridor to wildlife. A pristine view with nature in her truest form, an undisturbed setting I was able to observe daily. It hurt me to watch this environment being changed and it messed with my privacy and peace of mind. So what did I do? I could not stop the process, the only avenue open to me was to change myself and how I was dealing with it. Instead of screaming and reacting, I addressed it and voiced it and worked to negotiate a mutual plan of acceptance both parties could agree upon. Did it solve my problem, no not really, but with respectful communication, it made everything easier and more fluid in the transition. Next time I will look for communication ahead of time and dare to be proactive in my well-being and in my living environment by using grace instead of anger. I had to change with the change going on around me. I dared myself to look deeper within.

Henry Tobmen:
My mom let my friend take my brand new bike on the dirt road. My friend never should have been riding the bike, it was too big for him, so he recklessly tumbled over and scratched the bike. I felt really angry and disrespected. I voiced and addressed the situation through verbal explosion. I solved it by daring to make massive boundaries for my friends in the future. We will see how that goes.

Healing Jean:
I was an advocate to stop Monsanto from sending genetically modified food grade products and seeds to Pioneer Valley in Amherst, Massachusetts. That was 20 years ago. Vermont was a state that was renowned for not allowing the Monsanto seeds to be planted in their agricultural regions. I went to court to try to outlaw GMO seeds from being planted in Amherst, Massachusetts. I lost by 100 votes against me and 60 votes for me. The dare is to have your ducks in place ahead of time. I met with all the farmers in Vermont and used the research in court. Mono-cropping hurts the ecosystem. It is to our benefit to preserve our ecosystem.

I risked advocating and standing out for the good of equal rights for gay people in Denver, Colorado. I was standing up for a legislate to be passed for human rights. This was one of the biggest rallies held in the West. Amendment 2 was a ballot initiative passed by Colorado voters in 1992 that prohibited the state from enacting antidiscrimination protections for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Voters in the state of Colorado set in motion a legal and constitutional fight when they approved Amendment 2. I have advocated for people all my life. I spoke with no fear for the gay issue. No fear when it comes to others. I don’t go small when I advocate. Any time we stand up for another person, that’s who we really are. Thousands of people that day were at the Capitol in Denver, all supporting LGBTQ.