I am tired. So very, very tired. Tired of feeling fear and frustration and anger and absolute shock down to my very core at the fact that so many people have so very little care for their fellow humans. Too many don’t seem to care if their actions or inactions are harming others, be it physically or mentally or emotionally. I see too many people acting as though what is important to them takes all priority, superseding and disregarding what is important, even life preserving or sustaining, to others, especially if involves money. I feel all of that and yet, I know that how I’m feeling isn’t even a drop in the ocean to what so many others are feeling right now.
For a long time, I have thought that a lot of the lack of care just comes from ignorance. From the fact that people just don’t know enough of the background, the facts or the science to fully grasp a situation to be able to act in a more compassionate way. Sadly, I don’t really believe that much anymore because I’ve seen more willful ignorance, desperate grabs for, or to attain, power, and greed in the last few years than I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ll own that may just be because I wasn’t paying as much attention before now. Or maybe it is just being shown more blatantly and openly now.
I have spent my life trying, and often failing, but at least attempting, to see situations from a variety of sides or try and put myself in another’s position in an attempt to understand. Like most people, I tend to view things through a lens of certain perspectives that have been shaped by how I grew up and who I was surrounded by. Not all of those influences were good and it has taken me years to identify and understand how wrong I’ve been on certain issues in the past, but I’m working to try and improve that and remove that toxic attitude from my mindset.
One of the first perspectives I learned to view things from is the alternatively abled. I grew up with a family member that was an amputee needing to wear a full leg prosthetic from near the hip down. One that wasn’t the best made and had a fixed knee forcing the use of a cane and a limp. I watched them struggle to walk through a packed parking lot when all the handicapped spots were taken, being sore and tired before even reaching the store. Spots that were taken by vehicles with no markings indicating they belonged there. I remember being somewhere around maybe 10 years old or so the first time I witnessed this and feeling so incredibly upset on their behalf even though they didn’t utter a word. It has stuck with me and I always have this frame of reference to how I see things now.
Over the years I’ve had other friends and family that have dealt with so many various different issues; physical issues, mental issues, overall health problems; all of them facing extreme hardships, inconvenience, discrimination and judgement because of those issues.
More recently my frame of reference comes in part from the struggles of MCG’s family with her sister in a wheelchair. Seeing their battles for the access they are supposed to be given being ignored or disrupted so that someone could have a closer spot. Or people ignoring simple, common sense things like giving ample room in the spaces that are specifically designated for the use of those with chairs and not blocking a ramp access even though a vehicle is clearly marked as having a ramp. Simple. Basic. Common sense type of compassion and care for a fellow human being.
Lately, it has been a struggle to not get overwhelmed by all the negative feelings about how little people are willing to just take small measures to care for each other. Like wearing a mask. It is such a simple thing for the majority of people. Cover your mouth and nose when you are going to be in close contact with someone. It should be simple, but it isn’t.
Nothing is perfect. There will always be exceptions to the rule. A person that is hard of hearing and relies on being able to lip read as their main form of communication and understanding of others is cut off when masks are worn. Being a person of color wearing a mask can be more dangerous to their life than not wearing one for reasons completely unrelated to the virus. There are small portions of people that have legitimate medical issues that make wearing a mask dangerous. Though I have got to point out that is such a small number. You won’t pass out from wearing a basic mask, even for several hours, unless you fall into that small category, so please do not try to co-op someone’s legitimate health issue for you own selfish means.
No one deserves to get sick and die because another didn’t want to wear a mask.
No one deserves to have their lives deemed as less value than another’s or as less value than a minor inconvenience or over concerns of image.
No one deserves to be put in the position to choose who they are going to try and save and who they are going to have to let die because they don’t have enough equipment and protective gear to help all those that are in need. That doesn’t even bring in the gross disparity on what we spend on health care versus what we spend on police or military or a damned wall.
No one deserves to be on the other end of that decision only to be the one to die.
No one’s life should be worth less than the cost of necessary medical care.
On top of all of that, as if that isn’t enough, is such a volatile, ugly, blatant issue of the complete and utter disregard and care for our fellow humans, and exponentially more so for those of color, from the very people that are supposed to protect us and all the surrounding viciousness if you are deemed to be on the wrong side of that line. That ugliness is amplified and inflamed by those in power that were elected to protect ALL citizens of the country, not just the wealthy, white few. Inflamed when those in power say things like racist hate groups have “very fine people”, but those protesting injustice are “thugs”.
No one deserves to die just because their skin is black.
No one should live in fear of going for a run, to the store, standing in their yard, watching birds in a park, sleeping in their bed, or because they are wearing a mask to help protect their families, neighbors and friends. Afraid because of how they were born. Because the color of their skin means that they are likely to be a target for violence. And ONLY because of the color of their skin.
No one’s death should ever be justified because a police officer can simply say they were in fear for their lives with little to no evidence of legitimate fear beyond the color of the dead person’s skin. If a police officer is that fragile and operating out of that kind of fear, they have no place being a police officer. At that point, they have stopped being a protection to the public and are instead a danger to it.
No one deserves to die because we give unchecked authority and damn near blanket immunity to a body that is armed as well as our military.
No one deserves a death sentence for a minor crime because the police deemed them a threat on the sole fact that they were black.
No one deserves bodily damage, or worse, sentences well beyond what they would have been given in a court of law if convicted of whatever violation, just because they were out past a curfew in protest of all the above or because they were simply standing on their front porch when that armed force walked through their neighborhood.
No one deserves to die just because their skin is black.
For those in the back… No one deserves to die just because their skin is black.
I try to live my life by four seemingly simple rules/goals.
- Be Safe
- Be Healthy
- Be Happy
- Don’t Be An Asshole
It seems to me that #4 should be easy and a part of having a basic care for our fellow human’s lives and wellbeing. Sadly, it seems like too many people just don’t care enough to have a rule #4.
Yes. It makes me so very tired. And heartsore. And afraid for all of the kids that are old enough to see all of this going down right now and what their futures are going to look like. At what kind of people they are going to grow into from this volatile, rotten ground they are forming in.
My wish for the future, for all of their futures, is a world without so very many assholes.