I have started to write this in my head many times and today is the day it gets out of my head and onto the paper.
We are in grave danger.
A terrible terrible disease has gotten a hold of us and it is highly contagious.
Over the last year of talking with many people on the phone, I have heard the suffering, I have heard the loss.
I have heard the loss of relatives, friends, and relationships.
I have heard the anguish and the helplessness.
This disease scares me to the bottom of my soul.
I fear that as each day passes it becomes stronger.
It is barely spoken about and yet each day it makes its way into more people, including young children and very old men and women.
I have not been able to put a name to this disease but I am able to describe it:
I think of it almost as having been handed a little card. And this little card entitles the bearer to share their strong opinions in unkind ways. To use these opinions to further divide.
Yes, to use a popular word, this is unprecedented.
I don’t think that ever before have we been granted the right to be so harsh with each other.
How do we prevent it from spreading further? How do we heal from this?
I fear that as other diseases come and go, this one won’t.
And I fear the chronic sequels it will leave on our hearts and hearts of the generations to come.
In the first week of March 2020, I woke up in Mexico from a very vivid dream. In my dream, some people carried bright red hearts. In my dream, I knew that these bright red hearts were very very contagious. And that as other people caught them, these people felt a deep sense of love and peace.
I guess another virus of sorts.
I did not understand this dream very well at the time, but when I close my eyes I can still connect with its power.
We have had opinions before. Not everyone has always agreed on everything.
Opinions are important.
In a way, I think that this is how things advance. When we can share our perspectives with each other and grow from that. Learn something new, consider something we haven’t thought of before.
Harshness rarely has those effects.
And just because we have somehow been handed the right to be harsh with each other, does not mean that we can’t choose differently for ourselves.
For the sake of our physical, emotional and mental health, for the sake of what we are teaching our children and grandchildren, I implore you to try.