So what now?

We treat one another horribly. Those words have run on a loop through my mind the last few months. Reinforced by the news stories, travel, museum visits, movies, and books, but also by the smaller but corrosive tendency to refuse to acknowledge the humanity in one another. Over and over I have paused, shook my head and muttered: “we treat one another horribly”.

I think the full sentence is actually “we treat one another horribly. So now what?” And I honestly don’t know what to do with this.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt it was my duty to bear witness to the world. This has informed my approach to everything. I try to pay attention and, when appropriate, to share what I have seen. The past year has driven home something I always intellectually knew, paying attention is not enough. It is important. It is a necessary first step. But the story cannot end there. To see pain and injustice and not engage. To hide in the role of observer. To swallow anger. To see and then keep moving, is to contribute to mistreatment.

So now what? There are political options: voting, advocacy, lobbying. In the meantime, I think a place to start is in the persistent acknowledgment of the humanity of those around us. Those who annoy us, those who we love, and those who are easy to forget. The answer is probably a combination of both.

We treat one another horribly. We fail one another daily. We do. But we do not have to. We do not have to be indifferent or unaware. We do not have to be complicit.

“Do Not Be Overwhelmed By The Enormity Of The World’s Grief. Do Justice Now. Love Mercy Now. Walk Humbly Now. You Are Not Required To Complete The Work. Neither Are You Free To Ignore It.” -The Talmud

One Comment

nedayasin posted on June 6, 2023 at 6:13 am

Our bad behavior is caused by our way of thinking.
We think we are the best…
And this makes us behave badly…

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