Sometimes we see the path ahead of us, sometimes we don’t. Other times, we think we know what lies before us & then whammo!–there’s an unexpected turn, a steep hill or even a large hole that we must navigate if we are to go forward. Of course, knowing what we have to do or conquer and doing it are two ENTIRELY different things. Assuming that we know what we are dealing with, we then have to tackle the obstacle one. step. at. a. time. Like anything else. There’s just no other way. Now, you might choose to skip a step, detour, take a shortcut, etc., but ultimately, the final destination/goal is one in the same. The point is that you still have to find a way to get there. Rather, WE still have to find a way to get there.
Many of us feel lost and broken in this moment in time, and finding the right words to express ourselves seems impossible. Our emotions are all over the map as our proverbial paths have been ripped out from underneath our feet leaving us to sort of float or hover over top of ourselves like a hawk would, looking down upon ourselves as possible prey and we are left wondering… wondering, wondering, wondering, just what is next for us and where did our collective step FORWARD go so, so very wrong?! While we could likely argue about where exactly it went wrong, which I do not wish to do, I think that we can all safely agree on when it went wrong and clearly, the when part of our step went wrong looong before this point in time. However, with respect to this year alone, it’s been COVID-19, followed by typhoons and hurricanes for some and then, the horrible, wrongful death of a fellow human being at the hands of not only another human on our planet, but another who was deemed to be an officer of peace (that’s what they are often referred to here in Canada)–an officer whose intended duty is to serve and to protect the community and its people. Like, WOW!!!
But, let’s be honest here, the issues of violence and hate are NOT limited to black people and police officers as in the recent case of George Floyd, even though there has obviously been a long history of conflict between the two groups which I am in NO way intending to slight or undermine in this post, I promise you. The fact of the matter is that if WE really want to get to the root of the issues that WE are dealing with, it is imperative that WE recognize that this is a human race issue, as in one race–WE humans. Tell me when/how did it EVER become a minute by minute (maybe even second by second?) occurrence wherein one human being on the planet feels that they have ‘the right?!?’ to take the life of another human being? Period. For any reason. There is simply NO good reason for this behaviour. Ever. Absolutely none whatsoever. Any time or any place. Yet, knowing that this blogpost could and will reach many around the globe, there are some individuals on this very WP forum who could tell us story upon story about the kind of brutality and the magnitude by which death caused by the hands of another occurs in their part of the world, in their community by the minute, by the hour and by the day. Still and again, WOW!!!
Unfortunately, discrimination based on colour, gender, religion and class has been recorded time and time again since the beginning of time and in and of itself, it has become a pandemic of its own. It is a human race illness/disease which exists everywhere and affects everyone in one way or another, be it directly or indirectly. When it does affect or impact us directly, we become so pre-occupied with pointing fingers at one another and placing blame that nothing on a deeper level EVER gets resolved; instead, each time something like what happened to George Floyd happens and it re-opens the wounds, which just get deeper and deeper over time inherently perpetuating the cycle of hate and violence. And, if the issues at hand don’t impact us directly, many of us simply choose to look the other way if we are so privileged to be able to do so, and it’s not just those of who have fair skin either. It happens all the time, it even happens with the kind folks here on WordPress, myself included in that group obviously. I’ve seen it time and time again and so have you, I guarantee. Much as I hate to admit it, I’ve not only seen it, I’ve done it myself in that any time someone writes a post about something of a more serious nature, wherein it requires us to look within or dig deep, the post often gets ignored or accumulates fewer likes/comments than those of lighter topics/material. I try to read and post about more serious things at times, but there are many instances or days wherein I simply choose not to go there. The thinking often being, I’m on here to escape the wrongs of the world, I don’t want to read all about it on here too. I see and hear enough of it elsewhere! I’m tired of it. Fair enough because that thought has both truth and merit to it, as we are continually bombarded by negativity and fear by various media likes, but at some point, in some venue, be it this one or somewhere else, we have to be willing to face the music, so to speak. COVID-19 is forcing us to do that on one front though isn’t it, in that no one person can escape it and we are all facing the same music together, granted HOW we do that may look different.
Coronavirus aside, I personally think that our tendencies toward escapism in many aspects of life are often attributed to the fact that we feel helpless; helpless because as one, lone individual we do not feel that we have enough power or strength or even wherewithal to change all that needs changing, within ourselves, within each other, within the world, so it’s easier to NOT think about it at all or to think about it only when we really feel like it or when we are forced to do so. The truth is that that universal feeling of helplessness in its own right is right. We CAN’T change it all. It’s impossible! But, we can begin to change how we think and how we conduct ourselves in our everyday lives. We can begin to positively influence our own circles of influence, which similar to a pandemic, can spread to other circles very easily. Try it. Try it with a simple smile while social distancing or with a simple kindness at the grocery store, i.e. thanking the cashier. You are likely to elicit at least one other smile or kindness, which in turn, elicits and another and another and so on. Recently, I read a post by my fellow blogger, Casey, wherein he spoke of something similar in that he wasn’t sure what to do with all that is happening in the world around us, except that he could start by making positive changes within, become more aware of his own thoughts and actions toward others. Doesn’t it make sense that if we all made similar changes within, it would eventually translate to the outside world as well? Of course, it does. Of course, it makes sense. We just need to ACTUALLY do it.
Much like the path I spoke of earlier. It is one thing to know what we are dealing with, what we are up against, but it’s a WHOLE other enterprise (often an overwhelming one) to take action. WE just need to decide to start somewhere, so that WE can get back on our path or rather get OUR path back! We all have the end goal in mind, don’t we? Or maybe, the problem is that we have lost sight of that end goal. While we could all choose to word it differently, ISN’T THE BASIC IDEA TO LIVE AND TO SHARE IN A COMMON HUMAN EXPERIENCE AND TO LEAVE THE WORLD A LITTLE BIT BETTER OF A PLACE THAN WHEN WE FIRST CAME INTO IT?
To serve and to protect… each other.