What To Do In Pain

man wearing gas mask standing beside store facade

Photo by Oscar Chan on Pexels.com

I’m witnessing the pain of this country right now.  I’m witnessing fear responses.  I’m witnessing anger.  I’m witnessing grief.  I’m witnessing desperation.  And through all of that, I’m witnessing hope. The hope still exists that this is the opportunity for this country to make a necessary shift in how we live and treat people.

The tragic events over the last week have culminated in the beauty and sadness of communities simultaneously coming together and being destroyed.  The entire world is like that right now.  We are on the precipice of something we all feel but can’t yet articulate.  We know there is change in the air yet we are afraid of it.  And we know the change is necessary but we have no idea what comes next.

All we can do right now is offer our support.  To actively support finding a solution.  Regardless of whether or not the looting and riots across America are right, that is not our call.  The action, no matter right or wrong, is the result of very real issues we have perpetuated for generations.  The actions we are seeing are the cry of those who haven’t been heard until now.  Your demand for the silence of those in the face of oppression is the continuation of the same issue.  Your demand for their compliance is suggesting that you have the authority to dictate how people behave.  And telling people how to behave is suggesting that you rank above others.

It is time we realized that we have no say in how people behave beyond common courtesies.  In this day and age this conversation should have long be squelched.  The question of worth as determined by race, gender, orientation or anything else should no longer exist.  The conversation about who can do what with their voice is establishing the same classist divide that we are supposed to be fighting against.  It is not for another human to tell someone what to do with their feelings.  It is not for another human to dictate what they do with their grief, rage, or fear.  And it is not for another human to use their fear as an excuse to subjugate another people.

The issue common across all of these areas is power.  The real drive is power and the urge to exercise that power over people.  If we would stop long enough to realize that the system we still abide by keeps us in this divide of those with perceived authority and those without, then maybe we would see where the real issue is—with the system.  If we stopped fighting long enough to support each other and make sure we all could thrive and have a voice, then maybe we could tackle the issue and create a system that worked for all of us.

We are living in fear of each other and violently taking it out on each other as a means to cope with the bars we have allowed to cage us.  The reality is there are no bars.  What we have done can be undone but that will not work unless we do it together with a common goal.  Truthfully, I don’t profess to have the answer.  I simply have a vision and my vision is a world where this painful reality is a memory.  A world where my son can go out and play and not worry about catching disease.  A world where we are all allowed to thrive and we don’t allow how much paper someone has hold power over us.  A world where we have moved beyond the drive for power and have learned to live in love.

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