Driving down the highway this weekend, Maintenance Required appeared on the dash. My first reaction wasn’t “what’s wrong with the car?” It was “Yes, that’s exactly right, maintenance IS required right now,” as despicable incidents in the U.S. pierced my mind like shards of glass.
I recalled a passage from the book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea, where the author mentions the German term Zerrissenheit, meaning ‘torn-to-pieces-hood,’ and how a person “cannot live perpetually in such a state, or they “will be shattered into a thousand pieces.” I reflected on how my own mental and emotional state has mirrored this very feeling recently, and how, too, it deftly describes the current state of our Nation: Torn. Shattered.
Social injustice, police brutality, polarizing politics, social distancing, to COVID mask or not to mask? Lately, the United States of America feels more like the Divided States of America with its rigid boxes we are putting each other into. We have veered off the path of kindness and equality sharply, tarnishing the Golden Rule and our global reputation.
We live in the land of opportunity. Let’s take a stand, act, vote, educate ourselves on history and diversity issues, and speak out. Black Lives Matter. YES, absolutely! All lives matter. Our country matters, as does our children’s future. We are all one, living under the same sky. May we choose to see souls, not skin color. May we choose to see a person, not their sexual orientation.
We are all human. Our hearts beat with the same blood. Our tears do not differentiate my pain and grief from yours; my fears, joys, and hopes from yours.
My husband and I have had the distinct advantage of raising our son in Africa, Egypt, and Central America, where he is immersed in foreign languages, different cultures, religions, and backgrounds. At the tender age of eight, Ramsay understands there is an abundance of wonderful people, places, and ideas beyond America’s borders, and that not everyone has the freedoms, rights and blessings we are given. I wish I could gift every American the chance to live abroad to gain a wider perspective.
Relatives and friends can attest to Ramsay’s early self-portraits being drawn as a black person. We never corrected him. Why would we? I love it when he encounters any child, his desire is knowing what they can build together- Legos? Forts? Sand Castles? When we travel to areas where there is less diversity, he rightly inquires, “Mama, where are the brown people here?”
“We would be wise to take more of our cues from beasts and babies.” – Jen Sincero
The younger generations give me hope. May we learn from them and approach one another like children, greeting others with love in our hearts and a smile on our lips, without judgment, prejudice, or malice.
I hear the catchphrase “we’re all in this together,” frequently in the news, but if each of stops to let that sink in, it’s true. We are. Our actions and choices affect others, period: as individuals, as nations, as citizens of the world. When we hurt others, we hurt ourselves. We can do better. Let’s leave a better legacy.
Prayers for healing, and restoring this Nation to a place where every person feels valued, safe, and respected.
Peace and Light,