I wasn’t asleep, but something was broken…

I love hearing how people are finally “woke” or that others need to “wake up” to what’s going on around them. But, I don’t believe many people have been asleep at all. I was not asleep, and yet, I feel like I’ve been living in a nightmare. That said, some very quiet part of me has not been able to remain silent. I’m an introvert, and working alone and quietly has something I’ve been used to doing for a long time. At the same time, I know that some work needs to be done with others. So, that’s when I roll up my sleeves, put on my big girl gloves, grab my tools, and get to work with others. I have worked with groups on a few initiatives, some that connected parents with teachers for the success of our children, teamed up with community organizers to highlight cultures and share resources, and participated in activities that fostered law enforcement and community partnerships. Yet, it hasn’t been enough to keep people safe.

Inner peace is essential to me and mine was broken, and putting it back together hasn’t been easy. Actually, it’s been almost nonexistent. I can’t sit still. Nights pass when I don’t sleep. On some days, I find it hard to eat. I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out what IT is to begin with. So, when things get to a place of misunderstanding for me, I turn to God. Prayer always gets me through a tough time, and I got confirmation that indeed I wasn’t asleep, but something was broken. My peace of mind is broken.

Writing has become a sort of saving grace for me. I write to connect the dots that keep moving. They move, because the pen is filled with invisible ink, or the author of this wildly absurd alternative reality thinks it’s fun to watch me running around in circles. I’m not even sure which is which yet. There is a chaos that is surfacing and I can see where some people are trying to gloss it over as simply a state of transition while one political party takes over the country. But, for me, it’s not okay to normalize chaos.

Along with writing, I’m reading to find confirmation for what feels to me like the rise of a dictatorship, because surely, mostly God-fearing Christians didn’t willfully vote into office a man who creates confusion and fear every time he speaks. That’s not what happened, is it? I mean, I was awake and saw his cloud of destruction and disarray a mile away and I was not entertained. I’m not one for drama anyway, so my patience for fluff is at zero.

While I’m reading to find a community of like-minded people (those who are looking for the fastest and most responsible way out of this mess), I’m making calls. I have my House of Representative and US Senators’ phone numbers programmed into my phone, and I call them at least once a week. Why? Because, I’m looking for the baseline again. The standards for what a president should be were set way too low during the campaign. Very little respect for the Office of President was shown during the race. Truly, had respect been on the radar, the number of candidates running to begin with would have been small. Instead, our entire democracy was portrayed as a contest to be won, rather than a job that is earned and commands decency, intelligence, diversity, honesty, transparency, and yes, respect. The position is called Commander in Chief, because not only should the man or woman wearing the title give these attributes to all he/she meets, but also because he/she should have earned it.

One of my personal mantras comes from a former boss of mine. He said, “Change is good if progress is its motivator.” Nice, right? So, I didn’t understand why the change that people said they were clamoring for stood to take us back about 50 years. If things were so good 50 years ago for all Americans, there would have been no need for a Civil Rights Movement. People want CIVIL rights, simply put — a set of standards available to all people regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation, faith, ability, etc. Why one group of people think that it’s okay to deny basic human rights to any other group of people is beyond reason and it is certainly not progress, nor is it a peaceful thing. Denying others their civil rights is not peaceful for those not receiving these basic rights, and I would certainly hope that it’s not peaceful for those who have these rights while knowing full well that there is a group of people who are suffering. You shouldn’t be able to sleep at night, if your neighbor is suffering. That’s not only Christian, that’s human. Yes, something is indeed broken.

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