Feminist Mantra Monday 4: Generate Goodwill
This week as I was searching for mantra inspiration, I returned to Rebecca Solnit's book of essays The Faraway Nearby. In an essay on illness and the community that supported her while she was suffering, Solnit writes
As I was thinking about the stress and trauma of the election and the pressure of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, something in this line struck me.
This year has been a year of lean times, but every time I have faced a new challenge or betrayal or sadness, my friends and family have been there with encouragement and support. The time and energy that I have spent crafting relationships all came back to me tenfold. Like Rebecca Solnit said, there was more goodwill than I had ever imagined.
And amidst the anxiety of the past weeks, I have seen this same thing happen over and over again, as so many new and beautiful communities form to rally against hate.
So this week's feminist mantra is about generating goodwill. To generate goodwill is to sow seeds of kindness, respect, and empathy with no expectation. It is a refusal of the capitalist value structure that demands equal exchange, and the embrace of this fruitless labor that is so often labeled as feminine and ignored.
Most importantly, it is being proud of this work, valuing it and yourself, and knowing and trusting all the ways the goodwill you generate will return to you.
Cheers to goodwill, loves. I hope you are able to sow a few seeds this week.