A positive spin on change is very welcome. Heaven knows we’re all doing our best to deal with the many changes in our lives, both personal and political. Sometimes I resist living in flux. It’s not the most helpful way for me to respond.
A world in flux
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
In Ruth’s recent post, she talked about Dr. Banaji’s psychology studies and predictions about the abatement of biases. Per the psychologist, I may live to see a complete acceptance of the LGBTQ community in nine years, but I will be long buried before being Black or being an Old Fart will be accepted. All I know is that it is not soon enough. When I read some of the time frames in Ruth’s piece to my Honey, he quickly called it SWAG: Scientific Wild Ass Guess. Too many variables to consider to truly understand or know how people will feel in the future.
In 2008, after the election of the first Black president, would we have even considered that our next president would be a racist who lied and found conspiracy theories believable? Or that millions of people would still want him in office for a second term, or that an insurrection would shake our nation to its core? Or that a pandemic would decimate the world? (Well, maybe the scientists did have a hint that one day there would be another pandemic.)
There are two things I know for sure. One is that we will all die one day. The other is that everything around us is in a constant state of flux. Sometimes that flux causes enormous joy and sometimes just the opposite. No matter how wonderful or terrible anything is, it will change.
What does it mean to have this awareness? What can we do with it? For one thing, we can teach ourselves not to sweat the small stuff and, likewise, not to sweat the big things either because, odds are, they will morph into something unexpected.
Please do not think that I have mastered this seemingly simple technique. I have not! It is, indeed, easier to say than to do. In the midst of mourning, or dancing under the stars, we become stuck in that moment. Immobilized by the fear that we will be in pain forevermore, or we will never know such joy again.
What we can do is to teach ourselves, in the midst of every happening, that ‘this too shall pass’: a favorite saying of my dear mom, as well as Buddhist priests. Though that alone is not enough— we must always be willing to be the change that we all long for. Do not let evil go unchecked. Offer your hand and your heart wherever you are.
Yes, someday people will know that love in any form is a joyous thing. People will learn that whatever we look like on the outside matters not at all in comparison to our character. Old people will be greeted with the same grins as a new infant and the same respect one might grant a peer.
While we wait for the world to learn to love, respect and recognize one another as all part of the same human family, we can be kind, protect those in need, offer help, and always keep our hearts open to the reality that this too will change.