It Begins

r-styx-1

Greek funerary art – Charon crossing the souls across the Styx. 

I am awake from a long and lovely dream. I woke up to a sinister reality. A reality many have been living the entire time I was asleep.

A man who has openly threatened fellow humans in numerous ways – sexually, financially, emotionally, to name a few – has been chosen to lead the country I live in. He is now tasked to guide and protect me and my fellow country people. He speaks of taking us back to a time when the country was great.

It feels as though Charon has arrived to ferry the country across the Styx to all the horror of the underworld.

Is this dramatic? I am a white woman. I am a white woman with a good salary, health insurance, and a male partner. The chances of much harm coming to me directly are slim. Nobody seems to be coming after me now (though my reproductive rights may be threatened soon) – but people are attacking other vulnerable communities now. Hatred has been justified, and the man chosen to lead us has done nothing to stop it yet. People so steeped in their own privilege that they do not care for the safety of others is terrifying. I should know – I am guilty of this myself, and now must reckon with that.

Now the work begins. The easy part is donating to organizations fighting the good fight, volunteering to help those in need, and examining the facts on a regular basis – including facts that may prove some of my feelings wrong. The hard part is being kind and choosing love. I am very angry. I also know that if I close myself off I will never learn. My anger will thrive in the unanswered questions I have for those who choose this man despite, or perhaps because of, his hate.

We must hear people. If those people say or do things that threaten others, we must take action. If those people speak of their own fears, we must listen. We may not change their minds, but we may open their hearts by engaging. If their fears are drawn purely from their own bigotry, we must hear this too, so we are fully armed to fight them and understand how we can prevent the creation of more of this hate.

Perhaps this is naive. It might be. I don’t know yet, but I cannot close in on myself in my anger and not try.

Love to all. Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

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