For the first time in many, many days - I am nearly at a loss as to what to put in the blog.
It seems that what I write and what I say has no power and no value. While I agree that I have limits and I am not perfect - I'd like to think messages that encourage learning, critical thought, compassion, kindness, tolerance and balance have some value. I'd like to believe that people see that you can seek for health and healing while also showing concern for others and lifting people up who need help. I feel, right now, that I must be wrong.
Instead, it seems that too many have decided that they will listen to an outgoing president and a host of unqualified pundits and self-serving individuals who favor none of these things. I am particularly upset with them because they have power - eyes and ears are on them - and they have deliberately misled, repeating words that promote unrest, making accusations without specifics or appropriate evidence, and calling into question the efforts of many, many hard-working people who have spent life-times developing their skills to do the work that they do.
Then, there are others who have an agenda and they don't care how they accomplish that agenda. They have decided their cause is righteous and beyond reproach - which means you can do anything to anyone to get what you want. They no longer think they have to examine their motives and their intent - so it is okay if they destroy all that is in their path.
And, I am angered by those who take advantage of uncertainty with their scams and their ploys - sewing uncertainty to line their own pockets.
I am angry at these individuals because they are hurting a nation I love and the people I love more.
I see why they do it this way - with partial truths and untruths, threats and deception. It is apparently because they don't see how they can win what they want based on merit. I understand why they use bluster and threat of violence because those who would be peaceful and negotiate are given no space to make a difference. They soil the very ideals they claim to uphold by implying their insufficiency.
I am angry because they all should know better and I suspect many of them do - but they choose to ignore that and do what they do anyway. And if they do not know better, then more of us should recognize that they don't and stop giving them power.
But, then, I realize some of this anger is because I am ashamed.
I am ashamed of me - because I have not done enough, not said things the right way or at the right time and not found the way forward. I don't make enough of a difference. Period.
I am ashamed of all of us - because we let this nation come to this. No. We encouraged this nation to come to this with our intolerance, our greed, our willingness to believe the worst of people and our sheer laziness - because we can't be bothered to look hard at things we don't already agree with - and because we all think we know better - even when we don't. How could we possibly know better when we so readily allow ourselves to be swayed by the unqualified - by the shysters - by those whose statements cannot be verified by fact, but only by looking at their own echo chamber where they reference themselves as proof.
I am ashamed because the dark clouds on the horizon did not hide their presence. They were in plain sight for all to see. We even witnessed the power of the storm as it approached. Yet we did nothing to stop it - we even pretended it was not there.
I am ashamed because we allow the repetition of partial truth and untruth to become part of our stories that we tell ourselves and we don't bother to do more than that. I am ashamed because we are so quick to assume the worst and so unwilling to find the good. I am ashamed because we are so willing to become self-righteous and indignant even before we can truthfully say we actually know what we are talking about.
And, I am ashamed because we're all too willing to hide in our comfortable lives and judge someone else's discomfort as a deficiency. Until we become uncomfortable - and suddenly behaving badly is ok - for us - but not them.
But, in the end. I am ashamed because I don't know what to do and I'm not sure I have the words to say what needs to be said. I am ashamed because I doubt that my effort matters much - yet what little impact I might have, I fear I may have squandered it.
I am ashamed, yet I am not entirely certain what I should have done. I only know it should have been more. Even if it was just working harder to figure out exactly what it was that I should be doing.
Despite all of the reasons that point to the fact that this was not under my control, I remain - ashamed. I could have done more. And, I didn't.