Don’t Look Away

“As you know, I follow the war every day. I’m not going numb… and will do everything I can to stop it. This is not just Ukrainian PR. I’ve seen pics from all over the country of Ukrainian soldiers protecting animals.” Sky Otter.

For lifetimes, we have survived by going numb … and in our numbness nothing changed. If anything, the diconnect continued to build, to worsen.

Today’s world is hard to experience, devastatingly hard. Friends and families are torn apart, taking sides, hating each other — the fallout of partisanship reminds me of stories about the Civil War. We just haven’t put on uniforms and pulled our squirrel guns out of the closets, en masse, yet.

The pandemic won’t quite go away and literally millions have died. Denial doesn’t change the statistics. There is no guarantee another pandemic won’t appear. In fact, odds are there will be another one since little has changed other than many digging deeper ditches around their beliefs.

Wars are upon us — they always were but now they aren’t as hidden. Russia’s aggression has caught the eyes and heart of the world. Perhaps it more visible because it’s Russia, perhaps because its Eastern Europe and brings to mind WWII, perhaps because it is a white war.

And … we mustn’t go numb.

That’s what we’ve done in the past — unconsciously, consciously we have bypassed the horrors of life to survive. We have done our damnedest to break free from this plane, creating stories in our heads of other dimensions, of ascension, of god and angels, of caves and hideaways, of not just vacationing from life, but escaping. All numbing agents are drugs. There is little difference between shooting up and the other escape clauses — they are all ways we numb ourselves to the reality of life.

If we choose again the path of numbness everyone loses. The world will burn, and the fire will spread. Instead, we can consciously allow ourselves to feel and let the flames of the world burn within, transforming the lead into gold, the hatred into love, but we cannot do that if we look away, if we numb ourselves to the pain and suffering in the world.

In the midst of the divisiveness, the pandemic, the wars, there is great beauty, there are precious acts of human kindness, there is grand and glorious love in action, love in plain sight … and we miss it when we look away. We miss its healing balm, its soul-cleansing bath, its inherent ability to transform reality. We allow ourselves to be convinced in the worthlessness of this world and create a worthless world. We lose touch with the good.

As Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.” Instead of looking, be one of those helpers. Let your religion be kindness. Speak up. Speak out. Stand for love in whatever way moves you, with the passion that resides in your heart.

If not us, who? If not now, there may not be another opportunity.

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