Social change work is hard and frustrating and wonderful and terrible; it is also, at times, funny, quirky and just plain fascinating. With this blog we hope to capture all that goes into what we do at Capital Good Fund, and we invite you to join the conversation!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dreams and Realities

We all have dreams that fiercely flicker in the darkest depths of our being; they envelope us like string made of sunlight, spilling through a forest canopy to recover something precious from the Earth.  But always we awake to sights and sounds that take us away.  We rise, we wash, we eat, we travel, we work, we worry.  And always there is that something, that compost composed of all that humanity has discarded because they did not believe it could survive.  And because we did not believe in its survival, this precious something seemed to die.  And all around us there was injustice: a billion people living on a dollar per day; wars raging in jungles, in deserts, in mountains; millions of human beings languishing in jails for drug addiction, dying from curable disease, despairing of tomorrow, their today filled with sorrow; hundreds of millions lacking access to clean air, clean water, information, health care, good governance, good schools and hope; an environment stretched its limits, struggling to satiate a boundless hunger...

Oh, but even though we thought it dead, this precious something had instead been accumulating beneath our feet.  The rivers, streams, beaches, oceans, and even the pavements, the parking lots, the abandoned plots of land strewn about the world, all contain the soil of hope, of justice, of love, of beauty, of truth, and from that soil can sprout the world we all have sought.

It is so easy to acquiesce to the illusion of death, to the passing of time that wears and jades the purest of souls; it is so easy to bow to despair, so hard to smile at opportunity.  Wherever we laugh at death we delight at life. Freedom does not make one free to live, but rather liberates one to die.  And when we are free, we know that no curtain can fall on the masterpiece of our lives before the audience (oh, and there is always an audience) glimpses the poetry embedded in our actions.  And this poetry contains our immortality and our morality, the knowledge that though we come and go we always stay; that though we face both friend and foe neither knows where after death we go.

So let us rejoice in our freedom, in our humanity, in our wisdom and our ignorance.  Beyond the deepest reaches of our thoughts and our telescopes and our spacecraft and our submarines, there lies a terrain no mortal has trodden.  We glimpse it through love, through art, though wisdom, and somehow we sense that though there will come a time when we will see it fully, our eyes must be so full of the beauty of today that our feet stay rooted to the warmth and gentleness of where we stand.

Oh yes, let us do battle with illusion, let us sever the head of those shadows that fall short of our dreams.  Let us reach down at our feet and collect our hopes so as to recover our true selves.  Let us refuse to accept that there is a difference between somnambular wanderings and lucid wallowing, and in so doing, let us build a bridge of sunlight between who we are and who we wish to be.  Oh, and this sunlight will reveal our folly, for every time we shrug our shoulders or turn our backs, the perfection of the present dissolves into the pain of the past--the horrid whoosh of potential whipping past us, leaving us behind like a train whose destination we desire, but do not believe in.  Oh, but facing the light, facing ourselves and each other, not only can we calm our fears, but we can bring on the day when nighttime and daytime, dreams and realities, will meld together into one glorious stream of humanity, creating, seeking, despairing, loving and living in peace upon this planet.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Commitment

Director Andy Posner sent this email to the board, staff and interns of Capital Good Fund.

William Blake, the great 19th century British poet and mystic, once wrote that "if the doors of perception were cleansed, man would see anything as it is: Infinite."  When it comes to working for justice, we must maintain that sense of the infinite: infinite possibility and an infinite ability to innovate, problem-solve and feel compassion and empathy for others.  Unfortunately, the ubiquitous nature of injustice--poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, etc.--can so easily cloud our mental skies, obscuring our belief in our mission and holding us back from our true potential.  

When we work, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, to bend the arc of history towards justice, it is inevitable that setbacks and seemingly insurmountable challenges present themselves to us.  Borrowers fall behind on loans, events are poorly attended, processes and systems fail...all these things take their toll on us.  So our commitment must go beyond the mission; we must also devote our passion, love and intellect to the constant adjustments that must be made to solve seemingly intractable problems.