My Thoughts on Protests, Politics and Segregation in its many forms
You may have noticed that I’ve not posted for a while. The truth is that I’ve had a lot on my mind and, if I’m brutally honest, I wasn’t sure what was real, to write about, any more.
No, this ISN’T where I start talking about a brush with madness.
The thing is., I’ve built up all these ideas of what the world is, based on the things I’ve lived through; the people I know; the places I’ve seen. Then, suddenly I came across ideas and people who turned that all on its head, not through some difference that’s just skin deep or to do with who they love ( which is important only in telling me how to identify them across a crowded bar or reminding me how much of a gift loving is ) but by the very nature of the struggles they’ve faced and the choices they’ve had to make.
I know I’m not the only one to face this, and I wont be the last to, either.
How we face it is always going to be unique to each of us, just as what we see in each world is, but I imagine some of my reactions will ring a bell.
Hiding – Yep, that’s the first one I face. I hold on to the sheer power of my belief that my rules of how life should be are right and obviously these other ideas are mistaken. The classic argument that there’s a flaw in the others reasoning or, perhaps, it’s just that we both missed a small detail that makes my way right.
Running Away – Second up and my all time most effective way of dealing with things. The curl in a ball technique and the way I hid from my bullies when I was young. Oh, it’s so easy to switch off to other people’s lives and other ideas. All we have to do is change the channel, or walk away from the chat group, or even drive round the outside of that neighbourhood.
Blaming Someone Else – Right, I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets nervous facing this one. I’m absolutely certain that I’m not alone in doing it too, though.
“Oh, the planet’s being poisoned. It’s all the oil companies fault. Excuse me, I’m just going to go spray weed killers on my garden or burn some petrol.”
“Those poor people are homeless. It’s the councils fault. No, of course I don’t want to go to a public meeting about finding ways to house the homeless and I sure don’t want anything lowering my home’s value.”
Are you scared, nervous or shouting the good reasons you have for not looking? You aren’t alone because I sure would be too.
And, lets be honest, our lives and our personal fears and problems are important and we have to care about those around us first, because we know what they face and are there.
But that doesn’t mean we can just pretend this isn’t happening.
It’s like the world is made up of millions of bubbles – other worlds – one for each person. Each bubble can be so different that its hard to understand them but they each affect the others around them and each is a unique marvel that can never be replaced.
I’ve been torn between ignoring all the protests and anger right now and trying to get some idea of what everyone has gone through to make them need to stand up.
I know I’ll never truly understand it, and I’m glad of that in a way, because to understand ( properly understand rather than empathise or conjecture ) I would have had to live it and I don’t think I could. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care or should ignore this other world around me.
It’s a scary world, full of pain and anger and things we’d love to brush under the carpet because they’re scary. It’s one that we can close our eyes to if we want.
That’s the crux of the matter though and the stumbling block that stops me hiding. Do we really want to ignore these other worlds?
Is it worth side stepping these issues? Or will the lessening of another’s world be the lessening of all our worlds?
If we all wait and huddle away and think it’s someone else’s problem what does that do to our world? For surely, if we just ignore attitudes and issues that cause pain, and turn aside from the tearing cracks which are trying to make us distant from each other then wont there come a day when those pains and cracks also surround us?
I’m certainly not brave enough to march in protest and I wouldn’t risk the danger of giving Covid to those close to me but does that mean I cant look and see what I can do? Ask if there’s some petition which I agree with or write to my local politicians, even just say what’s on my mind so others can hear and make their own decisions on what to do.
These protests, to me, aren’t about just a march or one person who was murdered. They are voices trying to get us to look and see; People crying out to be heard because they can’t breath any more.
No, we can’t change these big scary problems alone but, the truth is we don’t have to. All we need is to show those in power that we know we put them there and, together, we want them to change their ways or we can remove them. That’s the power of democracy and the thing the gets hidden from us.
You see, every quiet person going to work in a small job, every telemarketer or typist or whoever. Every one of us is in charge of employing our leaders and law givers. We voted them in to do a job, NOT to be gods, and we certainly didn’t give away that power, although we sometimes forget we have it.
So, if like me, you’re looking from your own bubble world at the protests, just remember that we can take the time to listen and we don’t need to be brave or strong to help change the world.
Black lives matter., and so does every life, no matter how different they seem, because each of these lives is a person like you; like me. Each may be a brother or sister; a mother or father; a friend or carer. Each matters and is important. And each deserves your voice and love.