It’s ironic really. The way we know the sun is bright because of the darkness of night. We know joy because we know despair. And in the midst of struggle and injustice, it gives space for redemption. Opportunity for revolution, and the time for hope is what makes it possible to last the night.
The climate in our country feels very blue right now. Aggressive, dark, angry, menacing. The general weight of all aspects of our life makes us want to disconnect and hide away. Escape until the election is over. Until there is a new job. Until the spring. Until things start to make sense again. We have a deep need to close our eyes and believe again like a child, “If you don’t see me, I don’t see you!’ With our eyes closed, we can pretend our stark reality isn’t real.
Retreating can be very dangerous and keep us from participating in the healing our own pain, the struggle of others, and the injustice sweeping the country.
The truth? In our world, there is darkness, and there is also light. Daesch has been reduced by over 50% this year. There are more democratic countries in existence now than ever before. Countries are addressing climate change and making strides to curb the damage humans have done to mother earth. People are supporting Standing Rock, finding their passion in fighting for our first nation people to be treated with respect and dignity. Consumers are flexing their spending power and forcing companies to start altering their products and looking at ethical and eco friendly options. Communities are knitting together a bit more tightly, emphasizing finding common connections and lifting each other up. We are finally acknowledging the huge socioeconomic and racial divides that exist in our country. Because it isn’t that these issues are suddenly here, it is that they have always been lying under the surface conveniently ignored by those who enjoy privilege and now they have been brought into the light for all of us to see. And we can’t close down, we can’t hide away, we can’t let our grief or helpless feelings pull us out of our community.
Right now is a time for emotional triage. If the world is just too overwhelming, find that one passion that really sits with you and dive in. Retreating and shutting yourself away allows others to take advantage of your absence and turn the world into what they want without you. We ARE becoming a global community, whether we like it or not. Let’s be the voice of the change. As they say, be the change you want to see.
As this election thankfully grinds towards the finish line, we will see the ugliest in us. We have a candidate that is thriving on fear, anger, hate, otherness. Newspapers that normally stay neutral, politicians that normally are very republican are retreating from the tiny star of a candidate that is imploding right in front of us. People are arguing politics with ideas that are an alternate reality to our actual situation. At this point, if people are staying loyal to the GOP candidate, nothing will change their minds. So from now on, to help ease the tension we feel in our heart all the time about this election, let’s all make a pledge to only post positive political thoughts and articles about our candidate of choice and start looking at the local city and state-wide candidates running. That is our emotional triage. That is the way that we are going to rise above. The way we going to positively contribute. And no matter who you are voting for, VOTE. It is your civic duty.
Remember that the world is not as bad as it seems. Reach out and find the good. It is what us humans do best, we are resilient, we are better together. As minimal and utopian as it seems, it is a critical piece in our healing. And if you need a dose of patriotism to motivate you to get out and vote…listen to the musical Hamilton. It is amazing.