I have a few closet admissions—I’ve always like Rick Astley, not leaving the house on Sunday is something that I cannot abide, I have never gotten R.E.M. (the band, or sometimes even the sleep), I kill spiders, ants, and other crawly things, but I almost always try to save moths.
Here’s the thing, the only part of those admission that really matters is R.E.M. Because at the end of the day, particularly these past few weeks, everybody really does hurt.
In bed next to you.
Across the country.
In the penthouse.
In the encampments.
At the office.
Places I couldn’t find on a map and people I might never know, all chock full of pain.
This post crystalized so much for me as this story that has amplified so much divisiveness in our country, cast a light on our government, media, and many of our own unspoken assumptions, rolled into another day. It shifted things for me in a way that helped me understand that though I may not think a thing has anything to do with me, it does.
I’m tired of the constant sorrow flow in the media, the daily hammering with negative stories, and I don’t mean to do that here. I’ve read the FB status that says that anyone posting hideous images or stories of violence will get unfriended to keep feeds kid-safe. I get that, but I also think that there is a responsibility to bear witness.
We are, as different as we may be, in this together. Shame and anger are both riding high. I barely understand how to get through all the moving parts of being a mom and a business owner. I don’t know how loud I am supposed to speak about Ferguson or the other layers of things in my life that when I really think about it seem like crap.
Yes, the media is salacious, it’s their job to hook viewers. I don’t always agree with how they do it (we canceled cable in part to get away from it). I said on twitter the other day that sometimes it’s hard to know when to wave your “Don’t give a fuck card” and when to stand up and declare that you in fact “give all the fucks” and are ready to stand your ground.
I think that we have to push through the awkward of saying we didn’t know how much other were hurting or that we are hurting; raise our voices to say that things aren’t ok or that we want to do the hard work of trying to make them ok. Through it all we have to find, either within ourselves or in the support of our friends and family, the courage to be ok with the way forward involving a little bit of fear.
I don’t mean to speak for anyone with the use of the word ‘we,’ I am just hoping that all of us can get to a place that allows us to say and believe in a concept of we that connects us in kindness.