Picking Sides

Our whole world is feeling pretty imperfect now, isn’t it?
You know what else is imperfect? Our responses. Because we’re human, some of us respond with anger, others with compassion, some with humor, but most of us respond with a confusing mixture of things we can’t even begin to name. Sometimes we think that we need to choose the emotion with the most pull within that mixture in an attempt to impose order on our minds. We might decide that despite our confusion, we’re going to pick an emotion and a side because picking sides, we’re told, is important. Picking sides is how we make sure we’re not neutral in whatever war is going on and neutral, we all know, is bad.
But here’s the thing – denying that we have a very, very human and imperfect and confusing and unfathomable mixture of emotions in response to our world doesn’t make us agents of change. In fact, it does nothing but alienate us from ourselves as well as others. It also results in denying the very revolutionary concept that we can choose our own way of being, that we don’t have to join anyone’s war, that we can have compassion for, say, dead black men and dead officers at the same time. The real choice isn’t between war and neutrality. The choice is between war and active compassion.
I’m happy to be an imperfect human being during this time. I’m grateful that I have the ability to see beneath the rhetoric down into the shamefulness that is murderous racism and the empty promise that is revenge.
Take care of yourselves, friends, and remember that we’re here to look after each other. It’s okay to feel for people who don’t think the same things you do.

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