We survive as a human race when we understand our relationship to each other– in our families, little neighborhoods, clubs, religious places, work places, gatherings. And in each of those we know others who are similar in some ways and different in others, and that difference creates opportunities for solving the many problems that we have, even when those differences create problems. But we are who we are because of who we all are. That’s ubuntu.
We have a choice in our humanity: to accept each other or to demonize the “other.” Currently, the leader of the United States is commanding the media and his policies in the opposite direction of the founding of this country. Indeed, this article in the Atlantic explains how Trump’s GOP politics divide us, demonize differences, and dictate violence, leading to the horrific events of this week.
Stop repeating anyone’s propaganda and speak to the facts, framing the worldview with one of humanity’s kindness. George Lackoff explains that we must stop spreading the lies by repeating them [ Article here ]. So at the Jewish school, teachers share with their students that “Saturday’s killings were the awful result of someone who had given up on compassion, kindness, and empathy.” [The Atlantic, Joe Pinsker, 10.30.18]. And of the members of the medical team treating the injured suspect, two were Jewish [Washington Post]. The bigger picture is one of our shared humanity.
We most not give up and must remind ourselves to look again at our own little neighborhoods [families, little neighborhoods, clubs, religious places, work places, gatherings], where everyone is not perfect, but for the most part, we are kind and respectful of one other. Carry that idea to all people. Even in dire situations, people find hope.
Spread hope.Spread that hope of the positive vision that our country has strived for, although obviously imperfectly, since 1776: united states, an American people, a diverse and innovative people living free. Remind one another of that which is true: what we do and say each day has a ripple effect, spreading our message to others. What kind of world do we want? What message and vision? Spread that vision to shine brighter than the despair and discord. Spread Hope. We are who we are because of who we all are. Ubuntu. Be the light in the dark. Be hope, be kind, be human.
All images by Sheri Edwards