Our business is selling Sugar Cubes, making beautiful beverages, and creating celebrations. On a deeper level, we are committed to the stories around our celebrations and the way these shared stories can teach us to be better humans, if we let them.
Now a horrific war is playing out in real time on our screens. In between making/packaging/shipping Sugar Cubes, cooking dinner, walking the dogs—the beautiful banality of my life—I watch CNN to see what’s happening in Ukraine. Every time I go to turn on the TV, I cling to the hope that things must be resolved now, that Ukrainians' lives will be back to lives like ours. But it all keeps going on, and I feel like a fly on flypaper—a teeny tiny player stuck in anxiety, unable to make any meaningful movement in the world.
A beginning of un-stuckness, critical for affecting change in ourselves and the world, is looking for the common story. One of the gifts of social media is that we can see and hear so many people’s stories.
Our oldest daughter has autism, so I am listening to and reading the stories of Ukrainian parents of children and young adults with disabilities. How are Mamas explaining loud bombings to a child who can’t tolerate loud noises without screaming? How are parents surviving in a one-room hideaway, with a teenager who cannot deal with even a small change in schedule?
I am coming to realize it is not by turning away, in fear or false hope, from people’s stories, but moving directly into them with open eyes and ears. I am praying to God, to the Universe, for these families, for these children, confused and afraid. I am donating money to organizations that most benefit them, because my heart beats strongest for them. I am not doing these small things or writing about them for virtue-signaling. (My small UNICEF contribution could definitely not be confused with virtue.) I am, however, being intentional about my personal and our business voice.
As the owner of Storied Goods, I want us to reflect a collective energy of un-stuckness, of openness to our shared humanity, of an unwavering movement towards peace and joy.
Hold your loved ones close.
Keep your celebrations bright and shiny.
Begin with the stories, and see how far you can go.