• Michelle Leduc Catlin

What Moves You to Action?


Unless every smallest detail in your life is in harmony with the high ideals that you profess, then those ideals have no meaning.
Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life

I have wept.


I am weeping.


I am searching for that quiet place of stillness in my heart and mind.

That place where, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”1


Where life is working as it is meant to, shifting, sometimes achingly slowly, from chaos to order…


…and back again.


Like many people, I am trying to make sense of senselessness.


In today’s must-watch video…



...I heard a doctor speaking about “covid related” deaths in old age homes.


Of elderly people, separated from family and friends, dying of loneliness.

Old people die.


This is inevitable.


But how we die is as meaningful as how we live.


Imagine spending your whole life living by the rules.


Working for decades to support a family, raising children with all the love and worry and joy and pain and energy it takes to grow good people.


To give your body, mind, and spirit to living a good life, only to be abandoned by rigid new rules supposedly intended to protect you.


I cannot imagine the helplessness and hopelessness and heartache.


I do not want to.


But I feel I must at least allow myself to glimpse the horror and despair of it all.


I feel I must make myself bear witness to the unnecessary suffering of the very old and the very young.


Because those of us in the middle have a voice, have the strength, have the duty to do so.


Imagine yourself, old and weak, alone and unable to change your circumstances.


Perhaps we think, as I confess I once did, I will never be like that.


Perhaps we think, my mind will always be lucid and I will never, regardless of my circumstances, be a victim.

Perhaps we have not yet realized that life holds no guarantees - other than death.

Life, when you’ve lived it long enough, is humbling.


But it need not be undignified.


Someone must speak for those whose voices have now been silenced, and those whose voices have not yet been developed.


In times of crisis, we no longer have the luxury of sitting by and wringing our hands in feigned helplessness.


We can no longer look away, distracted by life’s busyness.


We can no longer allow those whom we put in power to dictate circumstances that lead to despair.


Old people do not have to die of loneliness.


Young people do not have to suffer mental health issues from ill-considered policies that are impacting the normal cognitive, emotional, and social development of a generation.

We must take care of our sick and our healthy - before there is no longer anyone healthy enough to do so.

1 Quote from Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, 1393



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