This is the “NOT” part of the Summer Bliss issue - It is a note I wrote in reply to my cousin who was trying to come to terms, like so many of us, with the recent separation of parents and children at the U.S. border…
I hear you. I think there is just always about one third of humanity that is deplorable. From what I have read the Irish were not welcomed easily either and our own Norwegian grandmother didn’t want her children learning the language of her parents because she knew they would have a better chance without an accent. But this situations seems like more than that. The world economic and political alignments are shifting within a fragile natural environment that likely will not support us in a future that we can now foresee. We have been warned about this collapse at least since I was studying it in University the 1980s. The Trump administration is like a open cancerous bleeding growth but it is not the disease in and of itself. The ugly, underbelly of our human disease (greed, power and fear) has spread to various parts of the world and multiplied as resources become less and we destroy our host planet and each other. Like rising sea levels, this brutality can’t be ignored. Yet, as our usual familiar systems break down and human behaviours deteriorate to that one-third within each of us that takes away our humanness, we are going to be profoundly challenged to lean into our compassion, our empathy, our giving, our loving, our willingness to live with less and help others and our planet, not just when we can but even when we feel we can’t.
There are days recently when I am not so sure humans should survive as a species. We are severely flawed and we haven’t been able to grasp the impact of our flawedness… maybe because at one time it was our strength, I suppose.
I wish I had answers, even hard answers. But I don’t see any other response than picking one thing each day that I think will make a difference - even a small difference. Yesterday, it was my donation to a fund to help others provide legal representation for these children separated from their parents and bond money for their parents. It was an easy one.
Today, I am writing this note in response to you so that I can remain hopeful, so that WE can remain hopeful. Then this afternoon, I am going to go plein air painting with fellow painters and stand for a couple of hours beside the sea to strengthen my resolve to keep doing good and to not give up - even on the days it feels hopeless, especially on the days it feels hopeless. May we have the resilience to think and act beyond what we now know to be true.
What are your personal strategies for resilience during difficult times?