It’s been a rough couple of days. If you live in America then you know what I mean.
When things like this happen, I find myself falling silent. Not in my personal life, or on social media, or in my own private journals, but here, in this space. More than ever, I’m realizing just how important our words are. I want to make sure I get them right. I don’t want to be another voice in the void. I don’t want to add more fuel to the fire. I don’t want to say something just because.
The bottom line is, there’s nothing new for me to say.
I have no new knowledge, no unique angle, no hot takes. There are so many writers out there who are articulating those things far better than I ever could. I don’t want to repeat them. I don’t want to add to the echo chamber.
But I do feel like it’s important to remind each other that we’re going to be okay. That needs to be said often right now. It feels like the country is having a collective panic attack, and the only thing that can soothe us is the knowledge that we’re going to make it through this. It’s what I keep muttering to myself when scrolling through Twitter or turning on the news: we’re going to be okay.
And as a white woman, I fully acknowledge that I write this from a place of privilege and inherent ignorance. What’s happening in Charlottesville, isn’t my reality. The depth and width of this racism is just something I’m beginning to comprehend. I do not understand or relate to what people of color are experiencing, but I am committed to learning and helping wherever and however possible. And in the midst of this learning, I choose to believe that we, the citizens of the United States of America, will be able to overcome this and emerge even stronger than before.
I don’t know where that belief comes from. Maybe faith. Maybe blind optimism. Maybe American history going through some remarkably shitty times and coming out on the other side. Maybe naivety. But I have to believe that love is going to win out, that things are going to get better. That good really will conquer evil.
I feel restless. I think we all do. We’ve read the articles and we’ve watched the news and we’ve given donations and made the promise to call out racist Uncle Jim at our next dinner party. We’ve submerged ourselves in this evil, and now we feel stuck because change is a slow and tedious thing. It doesn’t happen all at once. We can’t refresh our browser and expect a magic update to occur. It took a long time for us to get in this mess. It’s going to take a long time to dig ourselves out.
Still, there’s so much we can do right here and now. That’s what I’m choosing to focus on – my own community. How can I make it better? As usual, the answer isn’t flashy or sexy. It’s not always going to be a march or a protest or a filibuster. It’s consistent dedication to a series of small actions, small pearls of goodness piled on a string. What if we just smiled at that annoying coworker, or let the car get in front of us in traffic? What if we called our mothers? What if we chose to see the good in others?
And I know these actions seem small and trite, and just not good enough. But this isn’t an attempt to overlook, fix, or diminish what’s happening. It’s a call to love and act with kindness in the face of such extreme hate and injustice.
If we want to feel and see goodness in the world, then we have to feel and act and create that goodness in our own lives. This doesn’t make us Pollyannas. We can be angry- we should be. We can be heartbroken. We can be anxious and frustrated and devastated. But we can choose to keep going, and we can choose to bring positive energy to the table. We can be a fountain, not a drain.
We’re going to be okay. I see it in our outrage and our tears. I see it in the way we keep going, keep fighting, keep resisting. But more than anything, I see it in the small acts of kindness that seem so out of place in such a terrifying and unpredictable world.
Keep going. Keep spreading kindness and compassion. Keep standing up to evil. Love always wins. We’re going to be okay.
Source: We’re Going To Be Okay