2021.. I thought we had the talk.
The one where we came into the New Year with renewed hope. Not in a naïve fashion, expecting all the trauma we experienced in 2020 to just magically disappear at the stroke of midnight. But I thought we had the understanding, that there is no way humanity could survive anything remotely like the year before.
And yet here we are. Six days into this year.
Our cautious optimism has been crushed. Decimated.
Do you know the worst part about this all?
It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Did we think it would happen? Hypothetically.
Do you know the worst part about all this?
My daughters asked me what was happening.
And I had to tell them the person in charge
of keeping the United States safe incited chaos.
Encouraged domestic terrorism — this was not
a f*ck*ng protest. I had to tell them that we live
in a world where people care more about
getting their own way than caring for
other people we share this world with.
Do you know the worst part about this?
When they asked if all these people would
get arrested for doing something illegal.
I had to tell them no. I had to be honest.
I had to tell them it’s because these were white
people. Privileged people. Who society holds
to a different standard than their friends of
color — than their Hispanic family.
I can’t tell you that I can honestly find a line that goes…
Do you know what the good part about this was?
Because we are living in a place, in a world, in a time
where humanity is lost. And we are so f*ck*ng lost.
We’ve had a million and two reasons to be
brought together by a common human experience.
We watched George Floyd be murdered in real-time.
I didn’t know him, but I hold many who look like him
close to my heart. You probably do too. It could have
just as easily been them. Doesn’t that terrify you?
We watched strangers, our loved ones, and neighbors
be taken too soon by this pandemic. By selfish people
who refused to consider their fellow human beings
by wearing the damn mask or staying home. I haven’t
lost anyone because of the virus, but I’ve lost those I love.
Do you understand that visceral pain? That irreplaceable
presence in your life, gone too soon. Doesn’t that anger you?
We’ve watched families, and friendships, and society
be torn in half over political ideologies. Witnessed
democracy practically falling to its knees. Over what?
About who is the best? About who shouts the loudest?
About who has the most hateful and divisive rhetoric.
Doesn’t that fire you up to make a change?
Right here, right now. Right this moment.
I wish we could skip the clock straight to 2022.
But then we’d risk missing the opportunity to change
the narrative. We’d risk another 365 days of wasted time,
being shocked, and horrified, but still doing nothing.
We risk it all. We risk becoming even more desensitized,
and accepting these events as the way of the world.
But it isn’t. It can’t be. We refuse. We are the change.
We have no choice, but to be cautiously optimistic.