Monday, June 13, 2016

14 Things - In Light of Orlando

1. I hate having to cry again, over more lives lost because someone new decided to murder a large group of people.
2. I hate that we are now essentially ranking shootings and massacres as if they are commonplace. I hate that, as several on Twitter have pointed out, this isn't quite the deadliest mass shooting - Wounded Knee is - and this ranking, this categorization, is I know a tactic to distract our brains from the horror.
3. I remember being abroad and having folks ask me to explain the US, explain how Americans made certain political choices. It was hard. It has only grown harder.
4. I hate that once again, the mentally ill will need to clarify that there is no such thing as mentally unstable, that as much as we wish to categorize deadly intent as abnormal, we can do so without further demonizing mental health.
5. I hate that our safe spaces, our places of refuge, be they places of worship, schools, nightclubs, movie theaters, or even work, are attacked.
6. I hate that my friends and followers lists on social media contain so many that have lived through various violent events, I have to think twice about posting things.
7. I hate that folks from Orlando will have to explain that most days you don't die there, after such a deadly weekend.
8. I vote tomorrow. I plan to keep this in mind as I do. And again in November. And to make my thought, concerns, and priorities known to my elected officials.
9. I will donate money, more money, to places working to make the world a better, happier, safer place.
10. I will remember that calling out other people's bigoted statements can be momentarily uncomfortable, it's important. It is better to make it known that I object to such things.  To let those who do not feel safe countering such things, that I am with them, and not just when it's easy.
11. I will remember that there are policies, even about something as simple as giving blood, that eliminate a lot of potential donors and be thankful for those who can and do.
12. I will remember that haters of all stripes rarely represent more than hate, no matter what other mantles they attempt to wrap their hate in.
13. I will remember it is Ramadan and Pride and other sacred and celebratory things. That many, many people gathered in love and kindness yesterday and will continue to do so.
14. I will remember that self care is important. Time with friends and loved ones provides strength and hope so I and others can keep working to make this a better place.