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The power – and necessity – of community

{Cross posted from Facebook, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting}

I don’t really watch / read the news, so FB tends to be where I first hear about the latest and greatest tragedies facing our world…

Hurricanes. Fires. Earthquakes.

State-sanctioned police brutality against voters.

Mass shootings.

It’s hard for anyone to take in without succumbing to despair… as a borderline HSP, I can feel it weighing on my very bones… sinking in and draining me dry, body and soul…

I want to curl up, sleep, cry, sleep some more. Hide from the world and the horrible things that humans are capable of, that we suffer through and from…

But hiding under a blanket doesn’t solve anything, other than to – briefly – remove me from reality.

So, rather than succumbing to despair, I choose to respond by doubling down on my dedication and resolve. The world won’t ever get better unless I do.

Unless WE do.

My dad once said I could “outstubborn a donkey”… he didn’t mean it as a compliment, but I’ve decided to take it as one anyway.

Horrible people aren’t going to stop doing horrible things just because we wish it. Hiding under a blanket sure as hell won’t make them go away.

WE have to do the work. WE have to stand up, stand strong, refuse to give in.

What does that look like?

I imagine it will be different for everyone. But I think it starts with community. It starts with having compassion for your fellow humans – reaching out, connecting, building a network of respect and dignity that CAN’T be destroyed by horrible people.

It’s not an instant fix. There is no magic spell to make horribleness stop happening.

Hell, even if we fixed all the people in all the world RIGHT NOW, so that shit like Catalonia and Vegas never happened again, we’d still have to deal with natural disasters.

But community is what will save us. Connection is what allows us to band together and SAVE EACH OTHER in times of need.

“Love and light” have become bastardized buzz-words in so many online spiritual communities… “Sending prayers” feels like empty words…

It feels SO DAMN HARD when faced with shit like this, especially when it’s so far from home.

What can we possibly do, other than “send prayers”?

Here’s what you can do; reach out, to your neighbor, to your community, to the most vulnerable amongst us. Pay attention, LISTEN, connect. Treat people with respect, with kindness, honor the inherent dignity of ALL humans.

Be part of the solution.

 


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