I am guilty of choosing to mostly ignore the news and politics because I don’t feel my voice makes a difference, even when I am moved enough to say something. I once got so fired up as to get involved in local politics in an effort to help bring change – and discovered that politics is actually much worse than I’d thought. Even local politicians are too busy holding on to their bit of power (that several people, even within their own support team, are plotting to take away) to actually try and improve things for other people. My personal experience of politicians is that I wouldn’t trust most of them to pick up after their dog, let alone run a council/the economy/the country/represent me in the world. THAT was scary to realise.
So I’ve sat on the political sidelines since, being a-political, and helping people heal, so they don’t view the world through a veil of past hurts and traumas. “MY” world is full of beautiful scents and vibrational energy and I am endeavouring to share that with as many people as possible. I thought that would be enough. But it isn’t.
I’m upset, angry and scared (in changeable order) about what is happening in OUR world right now.
I have always thought of it as OUR world, but a powerful essay I read yesterday has made me realise that, for many people this world is still, all too often, a place of “us” and “them”.
Recent events in Charlottesville are NOT shocking. We all knew it was there, we just chose to bury our heads in the sand and pretend not to see it. But when I say “there” I don’t mean just in that city. I mean it’s there, here, everywhere. An undercurrent of hatred, like magma under the earth’s crust that will one day spew out in a torrent of destruction. America has the KKK and guns, Europe has it’s neo-nazis, civil wars are now, apparently, too boring for the news stations, and ISIS has taken terrorism and extremism to global levels. There’s more, but this feels enough to demonstrate the knife-edge on which society now sits.
Don’t even get me started on how much I worry about the natural disasters that are coming thicker and faster than I’ve seen in my lifetime.
I don’t believe everything I read in the news. It’s all filtered through a lens – you only have to watch CNN and Fox News reporting on the same story to see that. I made a conscious decision to stop commenting on the US election pre-amble but I sat up all night and cried as the results came in, even though I knew it was possible Trump would win because -well, Brexit happened.
People say Brexit happened as a protest against the establishment, which for too long hadn’t allowed “ordinary people” a voice. I’ve seen it said that Donald Trump rose to power on much the same premise. He gave a voice to ordinary people and was lucky enough to be running against a candidate that apparently represented everything wrong with the establishment.
There are arguments from many angles on both of these landmark decisions – but regardless of all the minutiae the result has been the same. Using the subject of immigration to gain votes gave hatred and bigotry a way out of the darkness. Terrorism fuels the fires of fear and so the cycle grows.
Hatred has so many more targets than skin colour that I’m going to have to save my direct response to the essay that triggered this post for another time. It’s going to take a while to gather my thoughts into a coherent order.
In the meantime I AM standing up to be counted on a personal level. I will not tolerate bigotry or hatred in any way shape or form. I do not judge someone based on skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, wealth (or lack of), ambition or profession – heck I’ve even been judged and shouted at because of my star-sign(!) – and I hope everyone who knows me feels the same.
All that said, I am very well aware that sometimes people simply aren’t on your wavelength, and that’s okay. Sometimes, you can gather ALL the information, or spend a lot of time with someone only to discover that they are, in fact, not worth your time and that’s okay too. It is okay not to like a person for a reason. It’s yet another sad fact of life that sometimes people genuinely are arseholes… But it is NOT okay to hate entire groups of people based on ONE part of their unique story.
Practice tolerance, be the best YOU you can be and encourage, and help others to do the same. Anger is NOT the answer.
PS: Michael Jackson really was a genius… The song Man in the Mirror remains so relevant. It’s been on a loop in my head since I started writing!