Roanne Kosokowsky

“The Great Law of Peace from the Great Spirit is perfect, balanced, true and just in every way. Only when each person has the Living Laws of Peace within their heart, thoughts, words and actions will there be lasting peace among the Nations of the Earth.” – Deganawideh, The Peacemaker

I took this quote from a book that I gave a teenage boy. A teenage boy that is trying to make sense of life, and of all the situations that were put upon him. Some of these situations were made with little thought, some with great thought, but almost all of them were made without his input or consent. A great deal of them stem from generations of hurt, destruction, and prejudices. A great deal of them occurred because society chooses over and over again to look away or force, instead of hearing, respecting, and loving unconditionally. I choose to write about this teenager because as I hear his story, learn from his forgotten wisdom, and walk alongside his path of healing, I am motivated.

Societies are made up of intertwined individuals. Each individual has a sacred story that needs to be respected and deserves to be heard. I believe that if we take the time to know who we are, and connect with our own hearts, than we can then honestly connect to others without judgment, we can begin to feel other hearts, feel different truths, and build community. I believe that social change stems from one heart opening at a time. Cliché, maybe, but I’ve felt it to be true, and it is part of my story and my struggle. My name is Roanne Kosokowsky, and I believe that this is what sustainable social and environmental justice looks like. Honesty, humility, respect, courage, wisdom, truth, love.

A thousand thank yous and a satchel of love to all of you Next Uppers for having the courage to follow your own truth, embracing life, and holding onto hope.