We are living in very troubled times. I am shocked, saddened, in disbelief and genuinely concerned by what is happening in our world. And especially how we, human beings, are treating one another. Even though we say “we are all in this together”, our actions and words and behaviours do not reflect that statement. We are hurting each other, lashing out at each other. We are not showing or being our best selves.
I realize that months of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, with the deaths, illnesses, and overwhelmed hospitals, stay at home isolation restrictions, unemployment, retail closures, event cancellations, home schooling and working, have pushed us to the breaking point. We are all dealing with it differently. What has been noticed is the increase of violence, abuse, alcoholism, drug use and mental health disturbances. This is new territory for us. We do not have all the answers, in fact, we have more questions than answers. We are trying to make it up as we go along to the best of our ability. It is not easy! For me, it takes daily and sometimes hourly self checks and reroutes. I destress with some exercise, go out in nature, read inspiring quotes, listen to music, meditate. Do what you can to uplift yourself. And balance the indigestion of the news with offsetting productive and worthwhile things.
And now, while dealing with the pandemic, we are having protests, riots, looting and demonstrations nationwide after a deadly police brutality incident that should never have happened. I am having deja vu of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and civil disturbances. Unrest began after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department(LAPD) for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in TV broadcasts.The rioting spread throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area, as thousands of people rioted over a six-day period following the announcement of the verdict.
I remember being at work in downtown LA at Robinsons headquarters and seeing looting going on below through my office window. We were in lockdown. We had not been given the okay to leave yet. I was on the phone with a vendor who was shocked that we were in the office! Once we were allowed to leave midday, my colleague and I drove back to Pasadena. It was so unsettling to see the National Guard on rooftops, rifles ready, chaos on the streets, and the smell of fire and smoke all around. Once safely home, I was glued to the TV watching as it unfolded. Unreal. Scary. Frightening. Sad. Working remotely and from home was not really utilized then, so we were just off for a few days until it was deemed safe to return to work.
And here we are again facing similar destruction, frustration, anxiety, disbelief, unlawfulness, rioting, looting and vandalism. We have not learned the lessons from previous occurrences. Somehow we must be thinking that it will just go away. It does not until we deal with the root causes.
We are all the human race and human beings. How we treat each other should be the same regardless of race, religion, politics, gender, physical appearances. What is right is right. What is wrong is wrong. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Where is human decency, Love, kindness and compassion?
I usually take an optimistic view of the world and look for the good in each other. However I am truly being tested now. I ask myself what can I do? How can I make a difference?
We each have a voice. Let’s use it to spread Love, Compassion, Joy, Peace, and Empathy. The way we do it will be different, but we can be united in our message and our intention. The important thing is to do it. The right way.
With Light and Love,