We Belong To Each Other

Credit: Kimothy Joy

This week, when I read this quote, my heart felt a familiar but persistent insistence to speak. So I opened my computer and began to write. But the result was a lot of swear words and ALL CAPS sentences because I am mad. Like really mad. And also, so, so heartbreakingly sad. This is not a new feeling. It’s been bubbling, roiling, and building up for weeks, months, years. So, yeah, swearing and all caps seem appropriate.

Our world is broken. Incredibly, terribly, horribly broken. (This is not new). 

Our planet is suffocating, dying. People (I am guilty) are prioritizing comfort and convenience over the future of our entire world.

Credit: Giovana Medeiros

Racism is ever-insidiously-rampant. This week, we learned the name of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered in cold blood for jogging while black. Black and brown people have been suffering and dying by white hands and white systems for centuries. (I am complicit. So, my white friends, are you.)

Courtesy of Illinois People’s Action

Coronavirus is highlighting ugliness and inequity everywhere. On social media, I see my childhood friend and your relative and that one guy from my college classes and your neighbor down the street (and… and… and… and… ) prioritizing their “freedom” over the survival of their friends and families and neighbors. I see them disregard science, preferring to perpetuate conspiracy theories and blatant misinformation. (This, by the way,  is not new, either. We are seeing it under bright lights now and can quickly – so terrifyingly quickly – see the consequences of ignorance).

Credit: Artist Lacuna; Berlin, Germany

I see politicians (and thus, their followers) prioritize capitalism over human lives, often equating or conflating the two. (Again, this is not new. This country was essentially founded on the prioritization of capital over human lives. We were built on the backs and the bodies of black and brown people. This did not stop with the end of slavery and it did not stop with the end of Jim Crow laws and it has not stopped today).

I cannot list all of the ways in which our world is broken. And I don’t think it would help to try. 

But. 

(Open your eyes).

(I believe this, I truly do).

We belong to each other.

“My humanity is bound up in yours for we can only be human together. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” (Desmond Tutu)

We are not acting like a “we”. 

We have forgotten.

and so

we have no peace.

I do not have the answers to fix our broken world. 

And yet.

If we can imagine ourselves as “we” instead of “me” and “you” or “us” and “them”… 

If we remember to value one another as precious and wonderful…

If we can hold all lives as sacredly as we hold our own… 

If our actions can reflect this…

Then maybe there’s hope. 

Perhaps, since we have all been complicit in the world’s brokenness, we can also be part of the work of healing.

I have a lot of work to do. We all do. 

From the 2018 Seattle Women’s March. I may not be able to march right now, but I can still write. I cannot be silent anymore. 

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