It’s a peaceful Sunday morning. Rain is drizzling outside after too long of a dry spell. The air smells fresher, the flowers are standing straighter…
and three people were killed yesterday and many more injured as a result of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Oh, yeah, I forgot my precautionary statement:
WARNING! I’m writing about controversial topics today. Those who don’t want to read about my concerns, fears, anger, righteousness or whatever else might come up, please feel free to pass on today’s post.
No judgment. I’d likely pass on reading many people’s opinions, too, especially if they didn’t mirror my own. And I’d much rather read (and write!) about the nice relaxed Sunday morning I’m spending with a strong cup of cold brew, contented pets napping on the sofa, and a cool breeze coming in through the open windows. But I’m writing about divisiveness and responsibility instead.
I’m not a person of color, a military veteran, physically disabled, or of a minority race. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m not wealthy. I’m not poor. I vote, but it isn’t really anybody’s business as to whom I vote for. That is, after all, why voting is confidential in the United States.
I’m a middle class, straight, white ‘merican. Privileged to the hilt. Some might think I don’t “get it” when it comes to the horrible discrimination and bigotry engulfing the world today. That’s okay, though, because
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME!
“It” is about the current state of affairs in the USA, in the world, in Charlottesville, VA and in the town I call home. “It” is about violence, prejudice, hatred and all the –phobias. It’s about freedom… of religion, of speech, of political ideology; the right to tote guns around if one so desires, and the right to walk down a street with a reasonable expectation that one won’t be gunned down.
“It” is about morality, human decency, equality, compassion, working in unity for the betterment of all.
The more I think about “it,” the more I realize
It’s ALL about me.
And it’s all about you. It’s about your neighbor and your fellow citizens and the immigrant family down the street, and the citizens and families in other countries that might be wondering when and from which direction the nuclear bombs will soon be coming.
I have all the answers to all these issues, and so do you. Most likely they’re not the same answers, maybe not even by a long shot. But we must look for answers, discuss “it,” and search for common ground, common decency, and common sense in addressing “it.” Because you and I – no matter how we are sliced and diced in societal definitions and identities – are the only ones who can find and lead the way through these self-created mires.
Today I will do something – something with love and rationality and peaceful intention; something towards stopping violence and hate. I ask that you do something likewise.
Today, as I sit in my cozy home enjoying the privileges of freedoms and presumed safety that I so often take for granted, I will remember with gratitude those who have made and continue to make them possible.
Today I will honor those killed in defending human kindness, and I will mourn the fact that such defense is even necessary.
Tomorrow I will write about the cooling breeze and the freshness of the cleansing rain. And I will repeat today’s commitments. Because that is the only way humanity can be redeemed.