Friday, February 16, 2018

...the person we see in the mirror

These are some dark and difficult days to be a human in these United States. We can fill in the blank on any given day with the victims of the most recent mass shooting. We can argue politics and mental health, the causes and the hollow repetitive sentiments. And none of it brings us any closer to curing what ails us.

Our separation and our simultaneous sense of entitlement and powerlessness keep us from the world that could exist if we but understood and participated in our shared humanity.

A friend of mine who is a school teacher in Florida texted me yesterday – “we have forgotten who we are and why we are here.”

And I think that, in a nutshell, is what ails us.

Who are we? In the deepest recesses of our soul, in that answer, rests the future of the world.

Why are we here? In that answer, lies the portrait of our lives.

Our interconnectedness seems so obvious to me, and yet, it’s not to most people or we would not be okay with human suffering anywhere that it exists.

Who do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we respect that person? Do we love that person? Do we see the mighty and powerful when we gaze at ourselves? Do we see the capable and compassionate? Because to see anything less robs the world of what we have to offer.

Humility does not mean believing in our insignificance. That’s just a cowardly lack of personal responsibility. And that is where we are collectively right now – unable to see that we are both the problem and the solution.

Take the NRA, for example. They will not release exact membership numbers, but let’s say it’s approximately the 4-5 million I found estimated online. Five million people. And the population of the United States is three hundred million people. Let me say that again for you – three hundred million people.

So tell me again how powerless we are against the gun lobby.

And here’s another thing about that – we are looking for national reform when all politics is local.

We all live in towns or cities, within counties, within states. Those are three levels of legislation that can be changed before getting to the federal level. So if congress and the president won’t do it, then each of us must step up where we live and assert our roles as responsible citizens. The county I live in just passed a law banning gun shows here. So something can be done.

The biggest threat to our democracy is our lack of personal involvement in it. It’s time we stop uttering the phrase, “I don’t want to get involved,” whether it is about witnessing a crime, a car accident, a troubled teen, or our government.

We lose what we relinquish, and more often than not, it is the helping hand when it comes our turn to need one.

So who are we – when nobody’s looking?

And why are we here – if not to leave something better off for our time spent here?

The hour is late. The tine is now. And lives hang in the balance, waiting for us to acknowledge the fullness of that person we see looking back at us in the mirror.

Thank you for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

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