Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What if...


I won't lie. I am sad. And worried. Worried that hate and divisiveness are ruining our society, our nation. I am sad that intolerance is being ignored, accepted and-worst of all-embraced.

I am sad because I feel small. And helpless against forces so much stronger, larger and more widespread than my tiny sphere of influence. The momentum alone of these powerful forces makes them feel immutable. Unstoppable. 

I am weak. I cannot fight against them alone and hope to emerge victorious. My voice is tiny. Insignificant amidst a cacophony of fear and hate. My reach is inadequate. My ideas: modest. Uncultivated.

But I cannot live in fear. I refuse to live in antipathy. And I can't help but wonder what could be possible. What if.

What if we could be as critical with our own thoughts and beliefs as we are with those of others?

What if we could admit that biases and prejudices and discrimination exist? And seek to collapse the institutions that perpetrate them. But first to examine ourselves: our own thoughts and behaviors. And to break down our own misconceptions.

What if we had the difficult conversations that need to be had? About equality. And privilege. And wealth. And opportunities. 

What if we did it without getting defensive? Without blaming. Without evading accountability. With only a desire to mend and repair.

What if instead of building walls we built bridges? Of understanding. Of acceptance. Of cooperation. Of genuine unselfish concern.

What if we truly felt responsible for taking care of the people around us? All people. 

What if we showed them respect and validation and understanding?

What if we accepted that people have not lived our lives? Had our experiences. And we seek to understand them instead of insulting them based on our own limited observations.

What if each of us...limited in capacity and authority...irrelevant in the general scheme of things...what if we sought to make the world a better place? 

Not the whole world. It's too overwhelming to think of. 
Too tremendous a task to fathom.

No. Not the whole world. Just ours. The tiny one we inhabit. The few people we come in contact with. The limited circle we interact with.

What if we make the changes in ourselves that we want to see around us?

What if we loved? What if we cared?

Can we change the world? I don't know.

But what if we can.

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