April 15th, 2021
This is going to be a loaded post. I give you this warning ahead of time as a courtesy: if you’re having a nice day, just scrolling along, having funsies, I encourage you to continue on ahead unimpeded. Have a good one.
If you’re still here: let’s do this. There is a lot to unpack here.
My opening thought is not my own, but it inspired me to begin.
There is a subset of folks who keep repeating: “If you just comply with the police, you will not get shot.” (Which is an inherently false statement, but let’s pretend for the sake of my next argument that it’s true.)
If this statement is correct, it means: there is a group of people in this country that can make you do something, and if you do not do what they say, they can shoot you.
That is the antithesis of freedom. This is the opposite of being free.
On Wednesday, a 61-year-old white man in Hutchinson assaulted an employee at Menard’s over their mask policy. Menard’s called the police, and the man not only evaded — meaning not complied with — officers, he actually dragged one with his car and hit them in the head with a hammer.
To absolutely nobody’s surprise, he was taken in alive, where he continues to be alive, as far as blinking and breathing is concerned.
Here’s a link:
I know there is another, related group of folks who don’t believe in masks. Yes, the same people who believe that we should comply also do not want you trampling on their mouth freedoms. Yes, the same people who understand that most businesses are privately owned, and agree that if you don’t wear shoes or a shirt they are also legally allowed to not let you participate in their installation of capitalism.
In fact, there’s an alarming amount of people who believe that masks are a social experiment.
Let’s go ahead and say they’re right and it is a social experiment. Why should we do that? Because it was a successful one.
It showed which of us were willing to make a small sacrifice for our fellow human beings; which of us were willing to make it but were going to complain the entire damn time; which of us were going to refuse to make it based on their subjective opinions or beliefs; and which of us were going to actively make things worse for their fellow human beings.
It showed all of us all of that, and there is no going back.
So why am I bouncing around these topics with no apparent connection?
Because each highlights how flawed and hypocritical we are. Each is an example of biases and beliefs that focus on the self as opposed to the community.
These things have always been a part of us, but we’ve been through a year that took spotlights and headlights and laser pointers and lit the bad stuff up like dynamite with a bad Instagram filter.
It’s hard to see and figure out what’s real anymore.
I just know that I wake up every day with an overwhelming sense of dread. It’s hard to get up sometimes for a wooden chest full of reasons. I don’t think I’m alone.
But I tap into the things that keep me going. My dog. Writing. Family. Friends. Music. Superheroes. YouTube. Nostalgia. And I don’t think I’m alone there, either.
And I try to remind myself that all of us, every morning, are just rebuilding ourselves up again, like Lego sets on a loop. We start with nothing. And we’ll be nothing again tomorrow. And we’ll be so many somethings in-between.
We’ll contribute to one another. We’ll add bricks of different colors and emotions and ideas to everyone we meet. We build ourselves up, yes, but we build each other up, too.
And as we see people hoard their blocks more and more, we see how that affects us all. It makes us lesser. It makes us less colorful, less interesting, small.
I write to add blocks to your life.
I listen to and care about you to add blocks to mine.
And that is all I can do right now.