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It shocked me when I learned, not too long ago, how self-righteous I am.
Then when the awareness washed over me, seeing it in others, too. Yikes!
I have strong opinions and points of view, but when the pandemic hit, the sh*t hit the fan for me. People I’ve known for years (who I thought I knew), I realised I didn’t.
When my dear friend Amy died of COVID-19, there was so much trash that was coming out of my mouth about anti-vaxxers. I’ve changed since then. How? I respect people’s point of view, even if it’s different than mine—mainly people I know who refuse to get the vaccine. Many have logical explanations of why they say “no vaccine.” Some have allergies to what’s in the vaccine; some are from minority groups and have been lied to so much that there’s a lot of distrust in the system and they want no part of it; and others are just defiant.
The “defiant for the sake of defiance” people are the ones who declare “no one is going to tell me what to do.” I’ve found it nearly impossible to speak to them because of their self-righteous anger. And it has opened my eyes to how many folks don’t think or feel for others; they just think about themselves.
We’ve lost our ability to communicate. When was the last time you picked up the phone to say, “How you doing? Family okay?” When was the last time you opened up a dialogue? Texting, email, and social media have their place, but I want to feel you by the sound of your voice. I want you to feel me by the sound of my voice. Does that mean you won’t be my friend if you don’t agree with me? No, of course not. This is my philosophy and perhaps not yours. But I am aware that many have cut off friendships because each person has a different point of view.
Why must people prove at any cost that their point of view is the “right” point of view?
The other day, I did my solo storytelling show within an intimate setting in a retirement community in Brooklyn Heights, New York. There was a small group sharing their stories with me after I performed. It was an amazing connection with people who our culture ignores. For years, I’ve loved performing and volunteering with the elderly because they’re real and they no longer have anything to hide, and let’s face it, I’m now one of them. So, it was refreshing being with them.
I feel like our country is spoiled, arrogant, and has been taught many lies in our history. I don’t know what it will take for us to listen to one another, do you? My heart breaks at the condition our country is in right now. The white supremacists, not only in this country but all over the world, are testing the limits of how far they can go with their hatred, and to see if any of the countries (including the United States) will stop them. We’re seeing it in how the white supremacists in the USA are sending truckers to Canada and other countries to create hate and disruption.
I sit here as I’m writing this and ask myself, “Where will we be in 2024?” Will the USA be a democracy full of hope, transformation, and change? Or will it be a country full of hate, fear, fascism, discrimination, and racism? Will many of us have to leave this country because our lives are in danger because we are not accepted for who we are?
I, myself, will fight against oppression until my dying day. I’m resilient and I want to see a transformation in our country. We can do it if we don’t go into denial and give up, but instead be activists to get the good people running for the Senate.