[Thanks to John Stepper for putting voice to my feelings so eloquently]
Things did not turn out the way I hoped they would. What should I do next?
I could be angry, and make my anger visible with a nasty comment on social media.
I could search the internet for extreme examples and share those that validate my fears and beliefs, ignoring my confirmation bias.
I could taunt or confront people who have different opinions, mocking them for their obvious lack of principles and education.
I could defriend the few in my network who disagree with me, thereby repairing the small breeches in a social bubble I have carefully cultivated, one that brings me comfort that I’m surrounded by people who think like me.
I have done all of these things in the past, and it has yielded nothing but unhappiness.
I’m done. I am no longer willing to be part of the problem, to feed the escalation of polarizing, dehumanizing behaviors that seems to be the new normal.
It’s time to step up.
If I want more kindness and compassion, I can be kinder and more compassionate, online and in person, throughout my day.
If I see unkind behavior, I can speak up and offer my support.
If I want more opportunities for people faced with systemic bias, I can do something to give them a voice, to help them gain access they might not have otherwise.
If I want to improve how people relate to each other – to replace hate and fear with empathy and generosity – I can continue to develop and spread a practice that does that. I can make that my life’s work.
I am not angry. I am not depressed.
I am committed.