Community Requires Stepping Away From Dark Places
We live in interesting times. We're inundated with choices on a daily basis. Give us too many choices and we may be paralyzed, unable to make any choice at all. If we do, we'll be vaguely dissatisfied, as well, as we reflect on all the other choices we could have made. We have buyer's remorse.
Most parents discover this pretty quickly; we learn that if we offer our children a steady stream of choices, they take forever, hem, haw, change their minds, end up in meltdown. We learn to offer two or three choices or, in some cases, to remove all choices. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.
We could all use a little bit of that, I think, the attitude of stoicism that says you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. It used to be, and it may be a reflection of Yankee heritage passed on to me from my parents and their parents, that you got through the rough patches by plowing through them. You didn't whine, you didn't bitch, and you sure didn't look for scapegoats. My dad to this day still motors on with kind of philosophy; you don't talk about your problems or your worries with anyone but family. I don't know that his way is better. I think that we all need to reach out to each other in hard patches, share ourselves, our troubles, so that we can get support from our friends, our community, so that we can know we are not alone.
Supporting each other positively in good times and bad is invaluable. It's vital; it's what community is about. Well, it's what a healthy community is about. It also ought to be about holding some of our negative tendencies in check rather than pushing and spurring each other on to more hate-filled rants and conspiracy theories. That's not a healthy community; it helps no one and tears everyone down.
We all have concerns in common. What's best for our children? How do we help them achieve their potential? How do we protect them without overprotecting them? How do we keep them safe?
When we are fortunate enough to have some of the basic needs for security met, we can move beyond our own circle and look out towards the community. We can ask broader questions: How can we help adults who are like our children? How can we honor and respect them and accept them as partners in this journey? How can we make the world a safer place for all people? How can we make sure basic needs for others are met?
I think that there are too many families not having the basic security needs met; they feel as if their whole world has been upended and nothing will put it to right again. It is a terrifying feeling; I know this first hand. So many of us do. We need to reach out to those who are in those dark places.
If we cannot show compassion for their humanity while quietly arguing against their false words and arguments, then what is the point? Do we not show that we too walk in dark places, as well?