By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
I preach, preach, preach to my clients about the importance of a support system, a tribe, a community. On Saturday in Lancaster, Pa., I felt the power of the tribe of women coming from all experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.
Some men, too. And children. And elders. And babies. And people of every color, both skin and hair. Some in wheelchairs and others standing ably. Some professional musicians, and some singing off key. Some model-pretty people and others average looking. Some loud and boisterous sporting bright pink hats, others primly holding a little modest sign with their fingertips.
We all need to feel connected to a community, and we especially need it now. The fact is that community in all its forms gives us strength and is the best antidote to anxiety and isolation.
We gathered at Penn Square, the central plaza in Lancaster, which was the capital of the United States for one day, on Sept. 27, 1777. I met some old friends, made some new friends and felt uplifted and inspired while standing and singing with hundreds of others speaking up for human rights and the human dignity of every person – and the earth herself – and knowing that hundreds of thousands of people were doing the same worldwide.
Later I heard that the number was millions, not just thousands. I also heard from others questioning “why” we were marching. A few criticized the marchers for advocating murder of unborn children. Some were put off by four-letter language by one or two celebrities. Others believed that patriotism means following the new president. Others questioned if marching was a waste of time – that our words would be dismissed by the elites in power.
I can’t speak for the thousands of other people who marched on every continent on our planet – yes, even Antarctica! – but I can tell you why I marched.
And it was so good to march together with my tribe, who are different from me and very much part of my tribe despite our differences. And If I become transformed and feel uplifted and inspired, how might others change for the good? That is the true nature of community.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.