“I can’t believe she told me that!”
I wonder if that’s what’s going through people’s minds, if that’s what they’re thinking on the rare occasions when I share such things?
That’s why I keep them to myself most of the time, these events and realities that no one wants to hear about.
I don’t want to hear about them either.
I don’t want to talk about them either.
I don’t want to know about them.
I wish with every atom of my being that they weren’t real, but they are.
They’re real and present and going on every day, whether we can see them or not, whether we choose to see them or not.
Even if you can’t witness the fall of each water droplet, they’re falling.
Even if you can’t discern each step lower the pH level hobbles, it’s hobbling ever lower.
Even if you can’t spy each one hundredth of an inch further the water creeps, it’s steadily creeping further.
Even if you can’t notice each fragment, less than five millimeters long, lounging in that water, there they lounge.
Even if you can’t recognize the gases pouring forth in the smoke or the burning that is the origin of those molecules, both are concrete.
Even if you can’t watch the outraged gather in the streets, justice, after all this time, still out of reach, true atonement for their suffering impossible, they live with injustice every day of their lives from the moment they’re born to the moment they die and sometimes beyond.
Even if you can’t glimpse each giant shudder to the earth, they’re slashed down again and again.
Even if you can’t appreciate each death, the last of its kind, the last of their kind keeps dying.
Even if you can’t hear the screams or behold the blood running, puddling on a concrete floor, a thoughtless slaughter, 3 billion are executed every day.
These things are happening.
Whether we know about them or not.
Whether we think about them or not.
And as long as these things are happening, I’ll keep choosing to know about them, to think about them.
It’s the least we can do.
You might think it nonsensical or asinine to fill my brain with all these tragic facts and images and thoughts.
But the more I know, the more I want to change.
The more I see, the more I want to help.
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Again I’ll say it, knowing and seeing and thinking about these things is not pleasant.
It’s the opposite of pleasant.
It’s painful and heartbreaking, and it’s easy to question why a person would willingly subject themselves to that pain and that heartbreak.
But not knowing and not seeing and not thinking about these things is no longer a choice, it can’t be.
It cannot be afforded.
A person sitting in a burning house cannot afford to ignore it.
We who are living each day on our now disease-ridden home cannot afford to ignore it.
It cannot be afforded.
But if the destruction of a single house and the living creatures inside worries and saddens you, I have no doubt that the continuous destruction of our vast and beautiful home, its oceans, lands, and airs, and that of our fellow thinking, feeling creatures scares and grieves you.
If only none of this was controversial!
If only there was no worry that these sentences might alienate or offend!
Please know that my mission is not to guilt trip!
Indeed, any of those outcomes would serve to do the opposite of what I want!
I want people to know.
I want people to remember.
I want people to help and take every action they can, keeping in their minds the knowledge that what we each do individually is incredibly important to making progress as a whole.
I want you to know.
I want you to remember.
I want you to help and take every action you can, keeping in your mind the knowledge that what we each do individually, what you choose to do, is incredibly important.
It’s vital to making progress as a whole.
I want you to choose to be a part of that progress.
“I can’t believe she told me that!” may be what goes through people’s minds.
“I can’t believe our society allows us to nudge these topics towards the recycling bin every time they rear their ugly heads” is what goes through mine.
So if you have the time, please take a moment to rebel against that failing of our society, and use this moment of your life to grieve for each of the following:
All the other things that fill your heart with sorrow, the pain of something you’ve lost or the pain of something we are all in danger of losing.
that all is not yet lost.