How are you? Hanging in there? Grasping desperately for answers as to why the world seems so terribly cruel these days?
Yeah, me too.
The frequent, indiscriminate, and horrific acts of violence depicted on the news lately make me want to slice up and divvy out my heart to anyone mourning the loss of a loved one to – let’s call it what it is – cold blooded, racially and religiously charged murder. Why is it that my own (silly, idiot, but at least functioning) heart is allowed to remain intact while so many others are irrevocably broken due to the consequences of this bullshit every single day? Why is it that we still have so many people suffering from misinformed, hateful, and destructive prejudices that we know erode and tear apart our communities? There’s an unreal proportion of our neighbors, children, and fellow Americans who are forced to go through life with such little support simply because of an uptick in skin pigmentation or who they worship and what do the rest of us do? We include them in our prayers at night or maybe we’ll send out a tweet or two and we then keep trucking along on our siloed paths. It seems so insanely unfair, doesn’t it?
The truth is, of course, that so much is to blame for the current state of our world. We have racists everywhere and unreal levels of religious intolerance and far too many guns and way too much violence. We don’t have nearly enough compassion and we have far too much stereotyping. We have too many wrongful convictions and not enough rightful ones and we don’t have enough peace keepers and there are way too many dividers. We have too much inequality and not enough opportunity and not enough love, in general.
So that’s what I am going to focus on for now. The love part. Because everything else seems overwhelming and even desensitizing, really. Like the weight of all this sadness and injustice is too much to bear when paired with the knowledge of how nebulous if not impossible comprehensive solutions to these problems would be. I often find myself feeling paralyzed and swallowed up by the enormity of the tasks at hand that would maybe even lead to the slightest of changes.
But I know more love could help. That I know for sure. So today, and in the days going forward, I am going to focus on that part. I am going to try to be kinder to myself and to others. I am going to look people in the eye and listen more and talk less. I’m going to try to open my heart more even when it’s uncomfortable or makes me feel awkward, because really love is the most important thing.
And it’s the least I could do. And maybe, just maybe, by taking this small step forward, the rest of those more difficult tasks won’t seem so insurmountable, you know
What do you think? Are you with me?
Image: Ólafur Arnalds – Ljósið Video by Esteban Diácono