Sunday, June 14, 2020

Living to Fight Another Day

I'm sitting outside on my balcony on a balmy afternoon in June. The weather is absolutely perfect today. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. I have so much to be grateful for, and I am grateful. And yet, I am sitting here feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders as I type these words. It's to be expected, considering all that's going on right now. 

We're caught in the grip of a global pandemic, protests are unfolding around the globe, the White House is an absolute dumpster fire of incompetence, corruption, and bigotry, and thousands of immigrant children are crammed into concentration camps on American soil. Paid for by my tax dollars, no less. So yea, things feel kinda heavy right now, to say the least.

Today at church the sermon was about having compassion for everyone we meet. Love Thy Neighbor is my guiding principle, and it rarely leaves any ambiguity about how I should be conducting myself. Being compassionate fits right in. But sometimes, my good attitude gets a few dings in it. Sometimes I get tired, or grumpy, or frustrated.

If we're ever going to fix the things that are wrong in our country, then people like me (by which I mean white people who want to be anti-racists) have to get used to carrying around all these big, heavy feelings. We can't let compassion fatigue become an excuse to stop. We can't forget that our friends and neighbors who live with racism never get a day off from it. Self-care is ok. Pacing ourselves is ok. Being (somewhat) patient with ourselves and others is ok. But giving up, throwing up our hands and quitting, that's not one of our options anymore. 

This afternoon, I'm going to do some self-care and re-charge my batteries, because tomorrow is a new day and I need to be ready to do whatever I can to dismantle the racism machine from the inside out.

If things are feeling heavy to you, too, fellow white person, I get it. Everyone needs occasional rest so we can live to fight another day. But just remember, when rest time is over we need to get back up and keep doing the work. 

PS - I've started to put together an anti-racism reading list if you feel like having a look. Let me know if there are any other titles you recommend to be included. 

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