It’s no time to be cruel.
This week I unfriended someone, a true rarity for me. I’ll go to many lengths before unfriending: debating, messaging privately, snoozing, unfollowing. But there was no question this time. I’ve come close to uninstalling Facebook on my phone and logging out all weekend.
It’s a Pandemic. A time that feels so far from reality it’s scary. But the thing is, it IS reality. I can think back to all those other times when life didn’t feel like reality because it was too painful to believe: Columbine shooting, my father’s first cancer diagnosis, 9/11 terrorist attack, the war against terrorism, my husband’s fatal rare cancer diagnosis, my mom’s cancer diagnosis, my father’s second cancer diagnosis, Sandy Hook shooting, Pulse Nightclub shooting, Stoneman Douglas shooting, Paris Bataclan shooting (so very many mass shootings), and this: the Pandemic. The personal, the national, the worldwide events all go into one big melting pot of sadness.
For so many of these events I felt connected to those around me: we mourned together, we rallied around one another. We may not have agreed on much but we agreed on the collective sadness of these events that impacted us directly or indirectly. The throb of our aching hearts beat together.
I know there were things and people and activity on the peripheral of these events that didn’t always blend with the grief. I know it wasn’t all “Kumbaya” and “Thoughts and Prayers” and “the Sun will come out tomorrow”. Because many of us struggle to believe in any of those platitudes.
So I come back to cruelty. To politicizing. To projecting and dividing and manipulating and crucifying and dictating and bullying and slandering and raging.
I’m angry. This week and this morning has made me rage. There’s no reason to be cruel.
Get off your soapbox and your high horse and your “I know better” philosophy.
It doesn’t belong here.
What does belong here are kindness and compassion and understanding and empathy and sympathy and listening and following and serving. And reality.
An embracing of what is going on: lives lost at an extraordinary rate. Understanding and accepting of scientifically proven prevention. Honoring of those people who are high risk and those people who are front line.
This is my reality check. Accepting the painful reality of now, the collective understanding that I want to be in this together, with all of you. And that if you’re doing any of the “ings” mentioned above, I don’t think we need to be friends.
Because the friends I need? The friends and support we all need? Those people aren’t cruel. They’re here with me, holding virtual hands, doing what they believe is best, and listening to the voices of calm and reason and the voices of those who know better than we.
154Dave Sieglitz, Christine Minnich and 152 others80 Comments8 Shares