I wish I was a stronger person. Not in any real sense, but in an emotional sense. Which I suppose arguably is, real.
Being from and living in Louisville, Kentucky, I really do have this connection with it. It pains me to see friends so angry over all of this, and I’m angry as well, it pains me to see communities accosted and the divide among us. The talking points, the chatter, it turns out we have had enough.
Reading today this quote is perfect and put my thoughts into a message “Hey, I can’t imagine what you’re going through, I’m here if you need it.”
Fear and anger divides, we need to solve problems not create them. My recent conversations turned to finger pointing, accusations of a lack of leadership, and raised voices. To truly represent any piece of this, information is the enemy of ignorance. I read about the demands, and honestly these are solutions which I believe we can all unite around. Nothing is unreasonable, nothing is unattainable, it’s sound in the reasoning. I think it all begins with a conversation, to have conversation we must listen. If you are offering a counterpoint, if you use a derogatory term towards your opponent, go back to square one and start over, on both sides. Listen.
We get here through respecting one another, because, despite what you hear in the media, I’m not your enemy, I’m not here to tear this country apart, I care about this country, this world, humanity. We’ve been divided through an attack on our psychology, where our values and beliefs get called into question. What you do is who you are. Our minds immediately say: “My identity, my essence is being questioned.” This is the way the mind works, it’s not your fault, but I’ll be damned if a little self reflection isn’t called for at this point, we have the time!
To blindly follow without questioning is not taught in any philosophy and to do so is no affront on who you are as a person. You are not abandoning yourself by taking in another point of view, you’re enhancing. Freedom is the ability to challenge the status quo, to have the opportunity to express yourself, to change yourself. Change is full of uncertainty, we look in our lives to establish consistency and we get comfortable in our ways, without truly appreciating what it takes to continue to live this way. And this brings us to where we are today.
So what IS the solution here? The first step (I believe) is treating your counterparty as a human being. We’ve seen time and time again that it doesn’t happen and that there is risk to life in doing so. The frustrations growing through this is dividing, something which should have no political leaning, into distinct camps with fuel constantly being added to the fire. Is that going to solve anything or just a catalyst for more ill thought actions. I ask you this question “How can we reestablish the trust, rebuild from here, and what is it you want to see?”
This is how we get there, through being uncomfortable and it’s those with the most to lose and gain that have to make these choices. Not me, because in all honesty, what do I know about the feelings out there? I can empathize, but I’ve never truly experienced it, and in that, I feel my mouth should stay shut. I’ll do as I’m asked, I’m in support of change, but I don’t want a message to get muddled with my own biases and opinions. I’m here for you, however you see fit.
When I wrote about what change shall we have, I didn’t expect things to be the way they are today. I didn’t expect to have the events happen as they have, but I am sure I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But it has been wished and continues to be wished. Semantics are everything. Watching Michael Che make light of the ridiculousness of the simple request and having it be denied. To semantics which should honestly be the common vernacular of a meaningful conversation:
“It’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop”
“It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop”
How is it even a discussion? A recent conversation said: “Well consider the value of life versus the property value which has been destroyed.” How have we cultivated such a mindset? How is this a talking point? I suppose in a pandemic marred with such considerations it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise when economic impact versus death, death is the “route” chosen.
I agree that if you take every effort to voice your concerns and they fall on deaf ears, you have the right in this country to do as you see fit. I don’t think that should include violence, but a country birthed by and consumed with, I’m not sure I fault anyone for doing what is obviously a part of it. A country obsessed with military might, bumping against the grain, carrying the big stick, are you honestly surprised that its people share that mentality? I’ve been afforded the opportunity to step outside of this country and live somewhere else for a while, this has truly impacted me. And I wonder, as I often do, is this the best we can do?
It’s beyond frustrating, but for me it’s just that. But peaceful protests should not be broken up, people should not fear to challenge the government in this way, in fact, it is one cornerstone of this country.
So I echo again: I have no idea what people are honestly going through, but I’m here if you need me, I’m here to support you, I’m here to use my thoughts, my words if you see fit. Otherwise I’ll chip away and demand more from my fellow humans, demand the thought around philosophy and the use of language, demand that no matter the conversation, everyone is treated with dignity and respect. That we all listen more and talk less, especially when we don’t have any concept of what it is like to be in the shoes of those we discuss.
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