Over the years men I’ve been involved with have told me not to take things so seriously. They usually meant not to take them so seriously. Which in retrospect was great advice. It’s hard not take what’s happening in this country and in the world right now seriously. I woke up to terribly distressing news about the torture and abuse of children in detention centres. I find it hard not to cry and be disheartened by our country, the world at large and the authorities in particular. It is hard to not be consumed by the darkness.
But focussing on this sadness, anger and disheartenment can be a slippery slope. I believe it is our right to speak up about many of the things that are going on and in some cases it is our duty. It can be easy to be caught up in all this and to believe that the world has gone mad and is full of ugliness and violence. It certainly does exist and we see the danger of turning a blind eye to this or at the least not being aware of what is going on around us. There are real consequences to burying our heads in the sand.
However there also exists a lot of good and beauty and justice in the world. People stand up for what they believe in, for others and for a better world. That’s what is going on here side by side with the darkness. We are saying what we want and don’t want, what we stand for and for what kind of world we want to live in. How we do that is a mark of our character. If we fight abuse with abuse we are part of the problem. It is necessary to hold people accountable and to put responsibility where it belongs. But using that righteousness as a weapon is destructive and can only lead to more abuse in the world.
People are saying it is actually NOT ok to exclude and abuse people based on gender, class, race, religion or sexual orientation. They are saying we want a world where people are treated with love and compassion and respect regardless of gender, class, race, religion or sexual orientation. I totally agree and that is what I stand for. When you say someone has wronged, in word or deed and this somehow makes them less and therefore open to abuse it creates a slippery slope. It’s the same bias that allows abuse of youth in detention centres, the same bias that allowed the holocaust and many other atrocities.
It’s our right to stand up for what we believe in. How you do that is a mark of your character. There are many beautiful, loving, caring people in the world who will make a stand for how they want the world to be. They do it with love and compassion and clear boundaries. One of those people is you and one of the ways to dissipate the darkness is to shine your light in the world. When you shine your light and love and compassion you are not consumed by darkness. The darkness is consumed by your light.
Shine your light and make a stand FOR the world you envision.