In my native United States, the last six months have been challenging with vehement words and actions from all sides. We have dealt with blistering political chaos and vitriol, the onset of Corona virus and quarantine, the resulting lack of work and money for many, economic struggles, illness and death from Corona, and most recently, the senseless death of a black man by a white police officer, igniting long held tensions. Everything feels like such a mess. We’ve smashed society like smashing an egg.
Honestly, I really don’t know what to say about all of this. What can I say, especially when all of these things have piled upon each other? It’s overwhelming. But one thing that does strike me is the focus on violence (physical, mental, verbal and emotional) and that has been raging through the country and the general disregard for peaceful, constructive measures.
Now, not everyone is ignoring peace; many are trying to embrace it, but their efforts seem to be drowned out in the din of nastiness. It’s hard to discern the kindness and hard to see those trying to find peace. The American media isn’t helping any. They always have a story about something horrible and rush to publish everyone’s criticisms of each other. There’s a saying in journalism: ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ This means news outlets often focus on sensational news items to get ratings. This approach only serves to fan the flames of anger, dividing America rather than uniting it. But we can’t take this much longer. I hate to fathom what might happen if this keeps up.
I can only hope that there will come a day soon when people are tired of acting in anger and choose to embrace peace instead.
This all makes me cling even closer to kindness and its importance in society. Kindness is one of the major themes of this blog because I believe in it so wholeheartedly. Kindness has a remarkable ability to join those determined to hate each other, it can smooth tensions, help to bring acknowledgements of hurts, and open doors to positive and productive outcomes and developments.
It’s crystal clear that we have a number of social, political and economic issues that cannot wait any longer to be addressed. But with all of the anger and vitriol flying we won’t be able to properly address these issues, much less solve them until we as a society choose to abandon discord and work together constructively.
Let’s please continue to pursue solutions peacefully and constructively. Let’s not smash the egg, but rather hold it carefully and protect it from harm.