. . . . I think this is more important. Besides feeling like crap all day (damn cold – you can see where I’ve been camped out most of the day in the photo below), I’ve been dragging my heels on writing this post. Actually, I’ve written and re-written it in my head about 100 times. I wanted it to be perfect. To say exactly the right thing.
With all of the talk going on about Ferguson and NYC, it’s gotten me a bit wound up. Normally, I leave this kind of stuff off of here. This is supposed to be a “happy” place where we trade cocktail recipes and learn how to make our lipstick last. But I just felt that I needed to comment. And for me, my pen is my sword.
After the two grand juries failed to hand down indictments in both the Eric Gardner and Michael Brown killings, I keep hearing my black friends make comments about having to have “the talk” with their husband/sons/brothers/daughters. It makes me sad they even have to do that. I said to The Hubbs earlier this week that we take for granted that we don’t have to talk to the bonus daughters about what the plan is if they were to get stopped by the police.
This morning yet another friend posted on Facebook that she had a conversation with her husband last night around what he would do if he were stopped by the police, and it pushed a button in me. We have an epidemic on our hands folks. And so far, I see and hear a lot of finger pointing and platitudes from those in power, but I don’t think we’re really addressing the issues. Yes, it’s very complicated. No, I don’t think it’s as easy as just training our police forces better or just working on gun control or just fixing our mental health system.
And it can be overwhelming as a single individual to think that you could have any impact on the issue. But to hold that view would be wrong. Here’s why I think so: 1) Every life has value. 2) We are all human. Before our race, creed, religion or gender. Even the “racists” and the “thugs”. And any other person we don’t like, share a viewpoint with or fear. We are all human first. We have a big problem here, folks and we need to address it from a place of love and compassion (thanks The Bloggess for pointing out the compassion piece last week).
Yes, we can be angry, but anger is a secondary emotion. Anger covers up fear, hurt, confusion, pain and bewilderment among other feelings. Let’s acknowledge the anger and then move on and get to the root of all of this and let’s start DOING something about it instead of pointing fingers. Let’s not wait on the lawmakers or our government to “fix” it. They are key here indeed. But we the people can help fix it with lots of little steps EVERY DAY. That person you walk by each morning at the bus stop? Tomorrow smile and say hello. The “thug” that walks past you in the parking lot? Do the same. The kid in your class that you think hates you, smile at them and say hi. And give more hugs. Lots of them.
Will all of that fix the problem? Of course not. But maybe a hug or smile will change someone’s day or open up a dialogue and we can all start talking to each other and trying to look at the issue from new angles. My personal view is that we should look at the issue from the viewpoint of an epidemiologist and treat it as the epidemic it truly is. Just like the CeaseFire organization in Illinois, which is now seemingly defunct due to budget cuts and other troubles. It was founded by an epidemiologist who approached the problem of gun violence in Chicago neighborhoods from a fresh new perspective and they had results.
This is still not the “perfect” post I wanted to write. Blame it on the cold meds (a new friend that I made gave me a homemade recipe that seems to be working better than the cold meds – more on that after I give it a little longer to make me feel better). Blame it on there is no perfect way to talk about this. But let’s just get talking. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. This time I’m the one the one letting you say, you’re welcome.