Okay, Now What?

Below is Whisper #29 from my latest book, 48 WHISPERS, which is a collection of photographs and personal meditations created across a decade of travel to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the surrounding northern plains. 

Confronting our authentic feelings about a past injustice is an important early step toward healing, but for enduring change to manifest, our introspection must ultimately transform into action.

Along the healing continuum a single question waits for us all: “Okay, now what?”

This is the moment where you decide if you will make a move toward recovery, and, if so, in what form that initiative will manifest.

It’s easy to demand action by another. Systemic social challenges require broad participation, but effectiveness can never be guaranteed when we wait for others to initiate the change we seek. Outsourcing the responsibility for altering your world is ultimately disempowering, as we become spectators of the actions taken by another.

Alternatively, you can make the next move. Becoming the action is liberating, as transformation is unleashed through the steps you take to bring something different into the world. Here, action is assured.

“Okay, now what?” is a question I often reflect upon at Pine Ridge, a commu- nity rightfully filled with grievances. The injuries inflicted here are deep and sustained.

But, okay—now what? What are the steps toward recovery, self-reliance, and change? Becoming the change is the only way to ensure that change occurs. There is always something that you can do right now to advance your position. Each positive step you take, no matter how small, nudges the future into a new arc.

When I change, the world around me transforms in the direction of the energy I bring forth.