There is much to consider.
I have never been one given to reactionary responses, but I’m not immune. There is a level of alarm these days that I’ve never truly felt. I hope, and part of me suspects, there will be some good to come out of all of the open strife and dissonance that is weighing heavy on us at the moment. I hope the pressure it provides is enough to spur solutions and common purpose. What I fear however is far worse.
I fear that this unease will lead us to disaster. People are vigorously defensive of their own bad decisions. Stubbornness is contagious and the more one senses others are invested in defending their own bad ideas the more invested they are in doing the same. It’s a snake eating its own tail and it does not bode well.
Perhaps the antidote is quiet and calm. Maybe we can find strength and insight and make more rational decisions if we are afforded calm. I believe this would allow the space for reflection and consideration and that some would come to find the wherewithal to put down the burdens of their own making and hear the concerns of those others who’d feel emboldened by calm to speak clearly their truth and their pain. If a tiny sliver of understanding and empathy can result from this space we should all seek it.
I want to have human compassion for those I currently have dehumanized and labeled, rather simply, as evil. I’m supposed to be amongst the enlightened, that is the perception I have of myself. It’s what I project. How can that be true when I can’t see the humanity in those I disagree with. How can I ask for understanding when I staunchly refuse to do the hard work of finding compassion for those suffering from hate that, seen from my angle, is so harmful. I am not able to be calm. I am seeing people who are sick with hate and all I can do is hate in return. It is anything but calm, anything but measured. It is exactly what I’m claiming to reject.
This is how it spreads. We have to find space to breathe. To seek and sit in calm. It may be our best hope. It may be my best hope.