Warning: This is a serious post about serious stuff. If that isn’t your thing, just skip it. I won’t be upset. Heck, I won’t even know.
I didn’t post anything at all here last week, but I guess you probably noticed that. I had every intention of doing posts, but when I sat down at the computer, or looked at my phone, it seemed that there was little or nothing good going on anywhere. It’s been affecting me, and it’s been building for a little while now. I just needed to put some distance between myself and the crap being tweeted and posted and linked to. Not that I was trying to deny it or think it will all just go away if I ignored it, but it was building into a bit of sensory overload. So, I kind of backed off of everything for the week.
Did it help? Yeah, some. Not being constantly bombarded with tweets, retweets, posts, and shares on both sides- things I agree with and things that twisted my stomach into knots, gave me room to breathe. It also made me realize that I have to say something. This pause didn’t provide me with a pair of rose-colored glasses and send me whistling down the street as if nothing were amiss, like some folks. Because plenty is amiss, and will continue to be, unless–
Unless, what? There’s the question. I don’t claim to have the complete answer, the one solution that will make it all better. But I do know this much: we can’t sit back and pretend it isn’t important. That the hate and fear and bigotry isn’t part of us. Oh, I know- you don’t think like that. You don’t support those people. You would never be at one of those demonstrations. And that’s good. But none of us can afford to say this isn’t us. This isn’t our country. Because, unfortunate as it may be, it is. It’s part of history, it’s part of what made us who we are, where we are, and how we live. We have to fight it. We have to speak up, stand up, rise up.
And, no, I don’t mean we should go out en masse and protest. Do that if it feels right to you. If not, don’t. What needs to be done, by every single one of us who believes we can and must be better than our past, is to stop ignoring the hatred, the violence, the venom that has always been there, but has found a new voice and a new life. Look around. See it. See it in all the little ways it shows its ugliness. And fight it there. From the ground up. Big gestures, speeches, demonstrations- they are all good in their way and in their place. But the real progress is going to be in each of our daily lives.
Be better. Be better than ever. Be better than who we were and better than the things in our past we’d all like to conveniently forget.
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