This morning in my effort to avoid being productive, I circled through my touchstones of life guides on social media. Ann Lamott, Elizabeth Gilbert, I can’t do the Love Warrior anymore but I have found a fresh voice in Elissa Altman. This morning she wrote something just to me and closed with “you are worthy of saving.”
Who me? What? No. Everyone else, yes. Every animal even. But not me. I learned that lesson really well. Not me.
But no. Stop. I am finally getting it. Here, next door to 52, I am starting to learn that “you are worthy of saving” means you. And me. And everyone.
Everyone. And here’s where it gets dicey.
Any leader who thinks that some are more worthy than others is the embodiment of pure evil. EVIL. Even if you are a person without empathy, as science shows us some people are, you might want to notice that any group of folks a leader deems unworthy of existence today can flip in the beat of a heart to your group. To you.
Even if you don’t care about anyone but you and yours, a leader who points at a group and says “them, those people” will, one day, point at YOU.
I know I can’t stop my president’s hate from inspiring mass killing. I know I can’t fix it. But today I can work to let my neighbors who are targeted by this evil know that I see them, I support them, and I am not afraid to say so.
Screw the “to do” list. I’m off to make signs and buy flowers and then I’ll stop by the local places of worship most likely to be impacted today.
Peace be upon you. And you. And me. And all of us.
Update: a colleague suggested that leaving anything at a mosque, including flowers, might cause stress today. Agreed. Good advice. But then I heard about a mosque a little north of me who was calling for neighbors to come and stand outside during Friday prayers. So I went. I took goofy pictures to show my concerned family members that there was a crowd and we were all safe and fine, or as safe and fine as our Muslim neighbors. After the service was over a community member brought out lunch for us and some children from the community passed out candy. I share these in the spirit of inviting my friends and neighbors to come out to show our strength. Next time may it be in celebration of good news and not in solidarity with those who are grieving.