Monday, April 27, 2020

It Sucks But Also Gets Better

One of the things about living is the repeated chance to re-evaulate experiences you lived through.  I talked with someone a while back about recognizing that watching the Anita Hill hearings before I even truly entered the work force had lingering effects.  My thoughts on the harassment she experienced have gained more nuance at the time, but regardless, it sent a message, that you can show up and lay your pain bear, and people will say, that sounds bad, but why shouldn't he get what he deserves.  
I've been slowly watching "Little Fires Everywhere" and the discussion of privilege, and should you feel bad if you've never faced hardship shows up in lots of ways.  
So, all of this is to say, I've lived through a few health crises now.  And I will tell you that yes, it sucks a lot.  It sucks if you are newly working from home, it sucks if you are working from home like always but with extra people, it sucks if you are trying to teach PE to kids via video conference, it sucks if your job disappears when there aren't people about, and it sucks if you are a health care worker, a package deliverer, a grocery store worker or any of the other folks still expected to show up while all their friends are like join our sixty two video conferences, we're drinking at noon!  
I remember seeing one video in response to the "It Gets Better" series from a kid saying, okay, cool, but telling me I have to make it to adulthood to get better is kinda depressing.  And the kid was right.  There are many many things wrong with our current world.  Crises make clear some of these things.  I think a lot about Lin-Manuel Miranda saying when he read up on Alexander Hamilton, he realized so many of these issues we struggle with today are baked into our country.  
So we have always been broken as a system.  Some of the ways we fixed it were good.  Some were not.  Some were meant to be stopgaps until a better idea came along.  We have the chance to push for some changes now, and some more later.  I can't promise we will get a better, fairer world out there.  I can't promise you won't know people who died who shouldn't have.  I can't promise that in another decade something won't happen that will make you want to scream, "We already talked about this, why haven't we fixed it?"  I can tell you, that those who tell you this is not the time to push for social and political change are wrong.  I can tell you to remember the lessons you have and are learning and carry that with you.  I can tell you that if that sounds utterly exhausting, I hear you, you can take a nap it's cool. 
My church used to have a minister who talked about marching in the streets all the time.  And she said once, I know marching in the streets isn't the only way to make a better world, it's just my way.  If your way involves adopting cats, that's cool too.  There are many ways, and many paths.