Success and progress in society come about through failure and regression. It’s hard and it’s scary. I’ve gotten angry and I’ve had my hope flicker. But then I’m reminded how much good we’re doing in the world because of the people I’m with everyday.
Parents, teachers, friends, and colleagues can have more impact in a person’s life than words written on a piece of paper. Community and connection hold great and lasting power. It is how we overcome intolerance, inequity, and injustice. Legislating power by the mean, intolerant people looking to divide us is temporary.
Though it doesn’t feel that way when I see the treatment of young workers, the LGBTQ2+ community, the environment, education, and surely more groups who will be impacted. But we will overcome. We have a voice. We can choose a better path with every conversation, every way we treat one another, and every time we choose who will represent us in the different levels of government.
We are social creatures. We want connection, we want to be seen, and we want to feel valued. Anyone trying to diminish that for others is acting out of a place of fear or shame. They put up a brave front and attack others to hide their own pain.
Despite knowing this, I struggle to step towards those people. To try to connect and understand with empathy. Because I see the hurt they’re causing others and it makes me angry to the point where I don’t want to make the effort.
But, taking a breath – and reflecting on my values that this is at odds with – I know the right thing to do is to reach out.
To connect. To understand. To work together to make things better.
I remind myself progress comes through struggle. We will get there.