What We’ve Lost For Sure

The world feels a little broken, doesn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Trump years were pretty bad. The day Hillary lost, was just the beginning of feeling hollow. And even though Biden won, it seems to be just a tiny step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Not by a long shot.

I keep thinking we’re going through some alignment of sorts. All these needless deaths… Florida, Texas…  I’m thoroughly confused by leaders in this state. I don’t understand the end game. What is the point of their denial of masks and Covid19 vaccines?  Are there people living on the planet who would continue to lie and kill many of their constituents just for political power? I mean, the answer to that is yes. Clearly, yes!

I look at what’s happening in Afghanistan, and I feel so overwhelmed by it all, I’m in a shock that feels numb more than anything else.  I don’t have an opinion on any of it, all I know is I trust Biden far more than I’d trust Trump. Or W, who got us into this mess to begin with.  But still, listening to people talk about it on social media, or even live, is heart-wrenching. Our hate for each other’s opinions is palpable.

In my small little piece of the world, my personal livelihood, I see such anger everywhere. I drove to the store yesterday and although I didn’t have to, I stopped my car to let someone walk on by – they didn’t acknowledge my kindness, didn’t even look my way. That’s okay, right? No big deal. 

The problem is it’s everywhere. Our negativity – our lack of empathy and compassion for one another is just GONE. Even basic manners are nowhere to be found.  I walked into the grocery store and went to grab a cart and a woman almost pushed me out of the way to get one first. There were plenty of carts available. I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, excuse me.” And she just looked at me like I’d just called her a cuss word. 

If you jump on any social media, you can easily find comments to anything, I mean any subject at all that just go off the deep end in negativity.  People jump to conclusions so easily. No one reads anything thoroughly, but everyone has an opinion about it anyways.  Even if people do read things completely for some reason it’s just too hard for anyone to have a differing viewpoint and comment in a nice way. Folk don’t know how to express themselves in comments. And we don’t know how to read things without being defensive no matter what is being said…

I’ve mentioned in the past months I’m having major surgery soon – it’s my first time, hopefully my last time. I’m finally having to deal with an old dance injury. The trauma surrounding this incident, to me is monumental. It’s the reason I never got to dance or choreograph professionally.  In my dream as a kid, I would have made it to Broadway, performed on a few shows and then, naturally, become some brilliant choreographer.  That’s all I wanted. Even after all the drama that had come my way as a child, I still had this one thing: the ability to dance. The incredible ability to perform – and then, that too was “taken” away from me.  It’s a traumatic thing for me – more than I care to admit, but realize I have too, to walk through what’s happening to me. And I have to tell you, I’ve been shocked – completely thrown – by how much indifference has come my way by people who should be more understanding.

Trust me, I don’t need my hand held. I’m not even talking about a particular person or incident. It’s an intangible really.  It’s thick in the air though. This non-love for one another. This inability to care, to even notice someone else matters – it seeps through our very essence. We’ve lost all that. As a people, as a country, as a world, I fear we’ve lost the basic impulse to be decent to each other.

This totally explains why the smallest act of kindness gets blown up and out of proportion online. Someone finds a wallet and returns it to its rightful owner somehow becomes a viral story with an emphasis on how they returned it “with everything in it” and are now “heroes” – WTF?  Or two kids, one black, one white, hug each other – and we’re all in tears… 

This is not to take away from those moments, but it’s to explain what we’ve lost. We need to look inward. We need to re-evaluate ourselves daily. We need to force ourselves again to say things like, “Thank you”, “Please”, “Excuse me” and “Hello”.  When someone reaches out to you via email, text or social media, respond in kind. Answer their question. Or just send a joyful emoji. My goodness. How hard is that?  If you’re walking past someone, say “Good Morning” or  give a nod, or just smile. But don’t leave people hanging. Don’t leave people feeling ignored. The irony is, people are so used to it, they don’t realize the reason they feel crappy is because no one cares. No one is showing they care. And the irony is, when you share some joy, some love, some common decency, you feel better too.

We keep wanting our children to be better, and yet we ourselves are horrible at the basics when it comes to empathy. I keep saying this – and it seems to be my mantra for 2021 – but if I could bottle up empathy and sympathy, I’d do it and give it to the world for free. We are so in need of it.

Do me a favor today. Do the world a favor today.  Go out today and just force yourself to be kind to someone else. Don’t just assume you’re already kind, because I’m telling you, we’ve all lost something… and we need to get it back. The world really is a little broken. And the only way to fix it, is to start with ourselves. And by that I mean, you and yes, me.  

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