Thursday, March 16, 2017

Let's build a village, not a wall

Is it just me but everywhere I go people are on edge? 

There is a cloud of hesitancy and fear because no one quite knows what is going to happen next.  We’re walking a tight rope, and one slight twitch could make us wobble and fall off.

Is this what it was like before World War 11?  Were people aware something dreadful was about to erupt and going about their day-to-day life, trying to pretend nothing was wrong? 

That’s kind of how it feels right now.  People seem to be hunkering in, just waiting for the boom to fall.  No matter how much you may dislike what is happening “down south” you can’t get away from it. 

Every night on the news, some other foolhardy or discriminating action has been taken and you worry where it will lead.  Every conversation you have with someone, his name creeps in.  Every day you wake up and wonder what’s going to happen next.

Our fear for the future is holding us hostage, and it is time we broke free. 

We can’t be held ransom by someone “playing” at being president or the unrest around the world.  We have to grab our lives back.  We have to carry on and live our lives to the fullest.  Because if we sit back and just wait for the bad stuff to unfold, we just increase the possibility that it will.

Let’s be clear.  It’s not just that we worry that the economy will tank.  It is that deep-rooted fear that with one foolish move, we could find ourselves at war, or worse, eradicated. As I write that, I feel myself shudder at the very thought.

But here’s the thing, while that is always a possibility, we have to Carry On. Keep Living.  As Jini Reddy observed in a recent Psychologies article,  “The world can feel very divided at the moment – which is all the more reason to celebrate our shared humanity.” She suggests that we need to come up with ways to avoid adding to the negativity, without retreating into denial or complacency.

“The urge, she says,  to experience communion and our shared humanity or to take meaningful action and to feel uplifted by it, is palpable.”

Good advice. I have always been an optimist, and I don’t intend to stop now.  I encourage you to do the same. Be aware, yes,  but don’t let it paralyze you or cause you to stop being who you are meant to be.  Let’s cluster together to neutralize what is happening and build a community that cares.

It takes small, simple acts of kindness, so that on a daily basis we remind ourselves of the value of community and helping one another.  As Reddy says “these small everyday acts, taken individually, create ripples. This is community in action – and we all benefit from it.”

We can do this. You know we can.

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