I’m sad about last night for a lot of reasons. And if you are human, and allow yourself to be so, then you probably are too. Maybe it’s the verdict that upset you, or the destruction afterwards, or the long and difficult path that has led us here and has shown us we have so much further to go before we get to the place where we want to be…a place where kindness and compassion and vulnerability are the things which can be lauded and seen and encouraged and felt. Or maybe, like me, you’re upset about all of those things and you feel too defeated to want to care anymore.
But if you’re like me, you can’t switch those emotions off. It’s so much easier to turn those feelings of vulnerability and hurt into a shield of rage. Rage feels powerful and strong. It feels good. And rage is important. But not at the cost of compassion. If, like me, today you woke up weary and wanting to become numb, or turn away, or lash out angrily at everyone involved then I feel you. But I encourage you to keep compassion at the forefront. Remember humanity. Remember that your words and actions make a difference. Remember that the majority of us are so much better than the worse things we see in the news, and that so many of us are leading a quiet revolution to be kind, and compassionate, and to listen to the hurt, and amplify the things that will make a positive difference in our world. It’s a quiet revolution that will never be covered on CNN. It’s a movement of people who redirect anger to kindness. Who listen even when it’s painful. Who take the hurt of others on ourselves and feel it so that we can become better people. Who wade into horrible online threads and inject compassion and reason because we know that it can become contagious if done the right way. Who hope that reason and empathy will somehow lead to a place which is safer for our children and grandchildren.
Yesterday someone sent me this photo and it’s stayed with me, and it helped. If you’re like me, maybe it’ll help you too.
I don’t usually write about serious things like this because I think of this blog as a place for us to get away from the crazy bullshit of the world. A place to laugh and heal and be ridiculous. But sometimes healing comes in different ways and I need to write this so I can let go of some of this angst and refocus on what positive things I can do next. Like donating to the Ferguson Library, which has served as a quiet sanctuary for so many children and adults.
Tomorrow we’ll be back to ridiculous cat pictures and possibly a story about an alligator in my toilet. And tomorrow we’ll still feel compassion for the people who are struggling, and will continue to do our best to enact positive changes in our own ways.
I hope to God both of those things are true.