These past couple years feels like they have been leading to this big point in time where things either explode into mess or we find utopia on the other side of the storm. I don’t know which and am afraid to hope it will all be alright at times. Feeling secure, like you have some semblance of an idea what to do or how to protect your family feels like this incredible complex chess game. I am of the opinion there is no one way to fix what’s going on either but what I do know is it feels like we’re headed towards a cliff without proper equipment.
The amount of separation in our society is scary. There are sides we are forced to choose and then you’re done. No options, no customizations or interpretation that’s just it. There is also no room for gray or blended ideals either. This has caused me a lot of personal turmoil in knowing how to navigate things like masks and vaccines but also just in living every day. There is no new normal and our old normal is not likely coming back so we are stuck in this void of having to declare our loyalties to things that don’t feel like are exactly right either. We don’t seem very good at all for designing a new way of life that respects and values the good from our past. We also seem to have failed at learning the lessons of our history where things shouldn’t be repeated.
Where it strikes me the most is in feeling we are now at a point of no return. We can’t hear each other over the shouting, shaming and bullying going on (from both sides) and we are not intersted in common ground anymore. It feels like a war breaking away any form of civilization we had between us. In it’s wake is segregation, separation and bitterness. You are labeled and separated by the lines of loyalty for what you believe. None of it healthy or natural. None of it aligned to the freedoms we have enjoyed for so long.
I think more than anything it has given me pause to question my own responses to things and realizing the deep emotions behind it. We can’t understand how someone can feel the way they do about something we see so differently. We spend all our time trying to shame them for it instead of hearing it their why, and respecting it. We push our own voice above others in brash statements typed furiously on screens to get our point across. We don’t care what the other side says because they are wrong. Nothing can change our minds. I have caught myself wound tightly on my own beliefs as well. I have been mindful of where I can’t hear. It is natural to feel passionate about things we believe in yet when those beliefs cripple us from being curious to other perspectives we become dangerous.
At the bottom of it all is a lack of respect for each other. That too is highly unnatural like we have been taken up into some other being and can’t release our own anger and frustration to let other emotions in. You can say it is disrespectful if you don’t get vaccinated because you are not caring for others well-being but is that really true? Vaccinated asymptomatic people also transmit the virus so there is no truth that it is only caused by the unvaccinated. It is also a vaccine and virus that still has much to learn about the ramifications, how it manifests and what long term this means for our health. Yet we are are panicked now. We are scared and as a result shaming those that are not convinced this is the only way to solve this problem. There is no room for other methods and approaches that are also effective.
Compassion, understanding, empathy, grace, love, friendship are all commodities that have no place in what is occurring and yet they are desperately needed. If we look past the agendas, frustrations, anger, shouting, bullying, forcing, mandating and more we find pain and fear. We find a people hurting because of something that has grossly mishandled by all of us the last couple years. We are caught up in the overreaction of desperately seeking solutions that will turn things back to the way they were but not realizing that is no longer possible. We have done too much damage at this point. We have let this fester between us and become a contentious point where we are firmly standing in our own sides against one another.
How we as a people overcome all of this seems difficult to even describe. Even more so how we rebuild seems impossible right now. The wounds are deep and they hurt. We have created a huge mess across our globe and in our communities. How do you heal from that? Certainly forgiveness is a big part of it but willingness and interest have to be there to make it even possible. Right now it doesn’t feel there is much of any of that in our society to share or spread. We have literally beaten the rose colored glasses right off the Be Kind Movement. We can only agree with others who agree with us and nothing more.
I’m not looking for agreement or support for my opinions. I am seeking the solace of freedom to make those choices though. The respect for the ability to do that without shaming, limitations, restrictions and segregation. Regardless of if you think the vaccine is great or not, letting that be the deciding factor on if we can be respectful to each other for those differences is a bigger issue. At this point we have lost sight of our own role in figuring this out together too. I think that without this peace between us we are destined to repeat the ugliest things in our history. Can you imagine not being friends with your best friend because they choose not to get the vaccine? Of course not! You would do the friend thing and encourage them if you thought it worth it but you would likely not let it be the end of your relationship. Yet that is what we are doing to our neighbors, communities and schools.
This discord between us has gone on long enough. Before we actually do destroy our civilization and blow up the world, I believe we all need to take a collective pause. Making that little bit of effort to hold out our hand and say enough, let’s work together. It is really hard to be the bigger person sometimes I know. It is so hard that we will let that bitterness sink right in just hoping the other person does it first too. The truth is we can’t afford that anymore. We can’t let differences destroy who we are as a human race.
Where does the finish line get drawn? I think that is the real question here. Is it when we completely destroy each other and are over a cliff with it being too late? Is it when one side wins and the other loses and then we call for a “healing” that equates to the other side getting over it? I like to think there is still a shred of humanity in us that would allow for better to happen. The part of us that wants a better world for our children starts with our own willingness to lay down the swords and start building that better world, together and inclusive of everyone’s beliefs. Regardless of our opinions, finding a way to overcome our differences and find that common ground again with each other is truly the only way to fix our problems, including the virus.
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