*** I’m not posting pictures with this piece because I think we’ve all seen and heard enough. Instead, I hope my words will speak just as loudly.***
I am burdened.
Today, four days out from the release of my very highly anticipated novel (mostly by me), I should be elated. Over the moon excited and giddy at the prospect of getting on a plane tomorrow, spending the evening in Boston with the family, and then catching the ferry over to Nantucket on Sunday, where we will spend most of the week, and I’ll have my first ever US book signing. I should be posting about my book, urging you all to run out and grab a copy, yet in this moment, I find it to be of little consequence.
I am burdened.
In the wake of incomprehensible tragedy, a barrage of evil in the past several months, does one simply carry on? Do we switch off the news, shrug our shoulders and convince ourselves, yet again, that this is not our problem?
God help us if we do.
People – sons and daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and cousins, uncles and aunts and grandparents – people are dying. Being picked off at will, simply because somebody decided they weren’t good enough to live. Weren’t important enough. Relevant enough. Instead, they were hated, hated enough to be killed. Murdered. Victims of a twisted mindset that’s hard to get my head around.
Jesus, have mercy.
It’s almost too much, isn’t it?
The burden is great, the grief almost intangible, and our responsibility beyond what we ever expected to have to bear. Humanity has turned in on itself. We are imploding. And if we do nothing?
If we do nothing?
Doing nothing is not an option.
No, we cannot simply carry on. We cannot continue to ignore racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, adultery, spousal abuse, child abuse, and the myriad of other offenses we are committing against each other on a daily basis. It has to stop now. Because I fear for the future of this world. And I fear we will not be long in it if we don’t take a stand.
If we don’t CHANGE.
And honestly? I don’t know how to do that. But I think it starts with love. I think it starts with a hand reaching out, a hug, a kind word, a smile that says “I see you and you are good.” You are important. Necessary. Needed. Loved.
We have gifts. Use them for good. My words will most likely change as I grow into this new normal. My stories may hold more challenge, more warning, but they will always point toward hope. If we have no hope, we are truly lost. And yes, it’s hard to see the good amidst the evil. But it is there.
Good will always overcome evil eventually.
Love will always win.
But we cannot simply carry on.
We must be part of the movement for change. Use our voices. Make art. Sing and dance and act and tell our stories. Do not accept anything less than wholehearted respect for another human being. This is our calling. This is our charge.
But I also believe we are also called to live our best life. To enjoy all these gifts we have been given. To be ever mindful of the chaos around us, yet find joy in the celebration of our own personal journey. I believe if we are true to that, seeking truth and proclaiming it to the world, we can change this cycle of evil. We can stop the apocalypse.
Let it begin now. Today. With me. With you.
Let healing begin.