In the chaos that has been the last few weeks in the world a few friends posted the following quote by Brené Brown.
“I woke up this morning looking for someone to blame. Someone to hate. Someone who I could make the single target of my fear about the officers killed in Dallas and the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It was such a desperate feeling to want to discharge the uncertainty and scarcity. Then it dawned on me that this is the exact drive that fueled what’s happening right now.
Instead of feeling hurt we act out our hurt. Rather than acknowledging our pain, we inflict it on others. Neither hate nor blame will lead to the justice and peace that we all want – it will only move us further apart. But we can’t forget that hate and blame are seductive. Anger is easier than grief. Blame is easier than real accountability. When we choose instant relief in the form of rage, we’re in many ways choosing permanent grief for the world.”
I feel like I am just watching people further polarize and blame each other for what is going on in the world right now. Not just with the shootings recently but the parents whose son got into the gorilla cage and every other incident like that. People say if the person driving the car listened to police he would not have been shot. If the parents at the zoo had watched their son better he would not have gotten into the enclosure. I get it. We want to say those situations happened to “those people” because of something they did. That means in the same situation we are safe because of course we would listen to the police and watch our children more closely. Right now we seem incapable of looking at events with any type of complexity and/or empathy but instead rush to judgment. That may make use feel better and safer but it does nothing to address what is going on in this country right now.
This post is not going to delve into the deep racial divide that is in our country right now. It is beyond me to write something to address that. What I do want to address is the blaming and the lack of empathy. It is harder to try and put ourselves in the shoes of another person. It is hard to make ourselves vulnerable to listening to others stories. But I do not think we as a society can heal and move on until we can allow ourselves to be that vulnerable.
I do believe that most of us want a just world where bad things don’t happen. But that is the world we live in. Take a moment with each situation and try really really try to put yourself in the shoes of the person it happened to. Let yourself feel for a minute what that might be like for them. Have some empathy. It is hard really hard sometimes to do this but if we can all try and find our way to be a bit less judgmental and a bit more compassionate maybe we can all work on healing the hurts that are separating us.