I’m at a loss. I am at a loss for what to say, what to do, how to feel. And I do…feel this loss, in a way that is unique to me. These lost lives, lost innocence, a lost sense of how I would like to believe the world & society to be. I so desperately WANT to believe that people are intrinsically good…at least deep down at their core. That we’ve reached a collective “good place” where most people can happily coexist and thrive.
And I am wrong. I’ve been shown over and over again that I am wrong. Each time something like this happens my gut tells me to mourn this crazy exception to the rule, the outlier…this thing that is wildly out of the ordinary. But I’ve slowly come to the realization that these tragedies are far from exceptional, far from atypical, far from isolated. The only thing that’s “different” is the intensity of the light that’s beginning to shine. Social media now acts as a global bullhorn drawing our attention to a few select incidents that cannot go unnoticed. And then there are those that do not draw the same attention. But they are there…occurring each and every day right before our very eyes, under our noses, in our backyards and all around us. Yet we don’t even see it.
What is that “we” really? It’s me, people…like me, people unlike me, but with the same level of privilege. The privilege that allows us to believe that things are on the right track, so much better than they were in our parent’s day. The privilege that allows us to walk around in the world and not give thought or concern to where we may be going, how we may be perceived, or how a seemingly benign encounter may quickly escalate into a life threatening incident.
Ignorance is bliss, isn’t that what they say? I can say that is true. I’ve spent the majority of my 36 years blissfully walking along on my cloud thinking that all is right with the world. I subscribed to all the old adages like “it will all work out”, “right always wins”, “good will triumph over evil”, etc. I could go on and on. And I did, I believed all of that. It’s easy to believe when all of your needs are met as well as many, many of your wants. When safety has never been a concern, when the police only represented protection, when your biggest concerns are true “first world problems.”
Please don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for every opportunity that I have been afforded and hope that I’ve done my best to take little of it for granted. I do feel so very lucky & blessed. Yes, all very easy to say, but what does it mean? Probably not much of anything if it weren’t for one thing. I am a mother. (more…)