Monday, July 11, 2016
This Isn't the End. It's a Rerun. #StopTheHate #Orlando #Dallas
It's been a crazy Pride Season, hasn't it? Some days, it feels like things are coming apart and we're on the verge of catastrophe. People are angry. Others are depressed. Deep down it's the same emotion: fear. With most of our politicians demonstrating a distinct lack of leadership abilities, it's hard not to be afraid.
The brightest spot in the blizzard of ignorance is that this isn't new territory. We've been here before. Every generation has to learn anew that violence doesn't accomplish anything other than making us all victims. It's our turn.
If you were around to see the late 1960s/early 1970s you know what I'm talking about. The US was full of the same violence and civil unrest we see now -- with the added complication of vigilante groups setting off car bombs in random neighborhoods. Remember the Black Panthers, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Irish Republican Army (IRA) back then? Remember the explosions in random places and how walking across a grocery store parking lot felt like taking your life in your hands?
I'm not as familiar with the climate in the UK 50 years ago, but I doubt it was all 'beer and skittles,' as they say. Over here, the States looked a lot like Baghdad and everyone was sure we would come to ruin. We didn't. Instead, people got sick of the hatred and violence and started pushing for peace.
It's time to push that direction again. We need to follow the example of past leaders who led their communities back to sanity by cranking up the compassion and tolerance in their corners of influence until those corners met in the middle. Racism and bigotry aren't really the heart of society in the UK or North America. Those are dearly held convictions of a minority with very big mouths! What we really have are countries full of kind, generous people with a scattering of nitwits. We'll prove that again in the end.
Until then, remember to exercise a little self-care. Do things that make you happy. Spend time with family and friends. Watch a funny movie. Look for the good that happens around us every day. Can't find it? Start a little good of your own. Donate to a food bank. Bake some goodwill cookies for a neighbor. Take some 'thank you' donuts to your local fire station. Hand out flowers at a transit station for no reason. Collect signatures on a 'thank you' card for your local police precinct. Whatever comes to mind.
We'll get through this. We've done it before. We can do it again.