In case you’re wondering, yes, it’s still me. Due to a conflict of interest of the work/life sort, I’ve had to switch out to a nickname. Enough business.
I consider this a view of hope.
I read the news all day at my job. Reading the news is a large part of my job.
There are days that I think, I need a new job. Many, many days.
Right now our country is saturated in fear. Our fear has led us to collectively make some questionable decisions and helps explain to me how Trump is not only running for President, but moving up in the polls. Fear-mongering leads to a collective amnesia about what fascism looks like.
A country isn’t a business. A country certainly shouldn’t be run like a business in 2015 where money is the one, the only priority. People are losing jobs because of a bottom line in which companies see no need to take care of people.
When children wash up on beaches because a shot at hope is the only alternative to certain death, and we’re too busy arguing economics, we have lost sight of what it means to be a human being.
Technology has led us into a hole of the unreal. Depending on the day, my Facebook feed is one picture after another of propaganda about why I should arm myself and my family to keep us safe. Religion is being used as a shield of protection against the enemy. But who is the enemy?
We’re all the enemy.
There is no safe. There is life and living life.
We went camping this weekend in Michigan and went to a storytelling on the beach around a campfire. Mike, our storyteller, told stories that he had heard from his dad as a child. We sat on benches in the sand and listened to Native American stories, ghost stories, stories, stories, and more stories. As the night wore on and darkness fell we looked through telescopes pointed at Saturn. We saw the Andromeda Galaxy. I still have trouble wrapping my head around it, an entirely different galaxy. Jesus.
The only thing certain is death. We have no idea when it’s going to come, but I wonder how many of us are truly living now.
And that’s what this is about. I want to rebel against the fear that we are being spoonfed and embrace the power of living our lives, making each day a little bit better, a little bit kinder, a little bit more worth living because we are countering all of this anger and fear, with art and kindness.
Art matters. We cut it from our schools so we can compete in a global economy. Fuck STEM. How about we teach ourselves and our children how important it is to read, to write, to draw, to play an instrument?
When was the last time a brawl broke out at a reading? A band concert? In a library?
The idea behind the little lending library above is that you give a book, you take a book. The person who created it knew that some people might take the books. And that is enough for some people to think the whole idea an idealistic comeuppance.
But here’s the thing. Maybe someone takes a book that changes their life, that saves their life, that helps them to save somebody else’s life. Maybe it’s the way you view it.
Maybe we give people the benefit of the doubt and try to make room for us all.
Maybe we turn away from fear and toward kindness.