“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemöller
Insert: Dreamer, immigrant, Muslim, woman, liberal, person of color, poor person, Union, etc.
When one is manifesting their true selves, it is in order to slough off the layers that are not truly in alignment of what you think and feel to be your truth. You carve out your truest self to present to the world, knowing that the gift of your light will impact others. In doing so, hoping to bring about a more just and beautiful world. Who you are, directly interacts with others and the world consciousness that we create and so I share this story with you, in the hopes that it ignites something within.
“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” – Zig Ziglar
Reading articles on DACA, immigrants, black lives matter, and women’s rights this past year; I’m frankly appalled and ashamed at some of the comments out there. It’s like, seriously… “Where is your freaking humanity?”
Does anyone else have a “FB friend” that routinely posts about illegal immigrants taking from our country and you REALLY have to hold back on calling out their hypocrisy about their section 8, food stamps and medical card?
Maybe you have a “proud to be Christian FB friend” that thinks people are over-reacting and being “reverse racist” in regards to the H&M “coolest monkey in the jungle” ad. I REALLY have to shut off FB before I send the pic of a lil’ girl wearing a “coolest cracker in the box shirt” just to see what they say about THAT. Would they be as blind to that racial trigger as they are intentionally blind to others? Like how they insist that Native Americans not be upset over mascots…..they should be honored. (Don’t feel your “feelings” over the genocide, it’s getting in the way of my enjoying football, just smile and get with the program).
Perhaps you have a “Union FB friend that keeps sharing his “Trump all the way” and anti-Obama posts. Really? Like Trump has done anything for labor, wages or the middle class? What are you really standing for?
“He had very few doubts, and when the facts contradicted his views on life, he shut his eyes in disapproval.” ― Hermann Hesse
Cognitive dissonance aside….I’ve been starting to wonder, when and how did we get so polarized into thinking that our opinions (when propped up by intense emotion but bankrupt of critical thinking) are all that count? I really think that empathy is being lost and it’s playing out in the comments section. What we need is a heavy dose of SOLIDARITY.
Solidarity is not an empty term. Solidarity is a perspective, a decision, a way of life. A person of solidarity has the empathy and capacity to view the larger picture in that the outcome of certain fights may not affect them, but they will stand next to another who has skin in the game because we support one another’s right to fight for the pursuit of happiness and our versions of the American dream.
Solidarity is also a strategy. A person of solidarity understands “united we stand and divided we fall.” A person of strategy will stand with you to defend your right, because aside from standing for what is right, they also realize that helping you to win your fight is the first line of defense in their own fight.
“They” do so by sowing fear. Fear of change, the idea that your way of life is under attack, that there are only so many resources, like money, or jobs. They instill an idea that this “other” is taking it from you and that this “other” is less than and more undeserving than you are. This fear turns into outrage, building an emotional barrier that prohibits you from listening to data, facts and personal stories that do not align with the emotionally charged story in your head. They then tell you that they will save you. Support their ideas and views, vote for them, trust them, don’t question them, “they” will save you from “them”. While we fight one another, we are blind to the laws passed to favor “their” true agenda. In the end, we all lose.
“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” – Mother Jones
Most people in power do not care about us. We have to care about ourselves by:
- Stop infighting, recognize when self-interest is sabotage of the collective. You are part of the collective.
- Recognition that we all want a better life, it can be had by all without taking away from others. Support one another.
- Be educated on what is going on. Don’t believe the meme and don’t intellectually isolate yourself by only reading one side.
- If you do not think that you are impacted, do not let that translate into indifference. Think bigger….your indifference has impact.
- Start listening to the stories of the people impacted and believe them.
- You may not be the “problem” but are you a solution?
- Creating and maintaining our own power base of the people and for the people. Join an action group.
- Vote! Better yet, run for office yourself.
- I do not personally believe in abortion, but I stand for another’s right to choose motherhood.
- I am not black, but I stand for Black Lives Matter and their demand for justice. I will demand justice for you too.
- I am not LGBTQ, but you deserve every happiness and security that I want for myself. I stand with you.
- I’m not on government assistance, but I have benefited in the past or might need it in the future and I don’t begrudge anyone their current need. I know that America has enough to care for its most needy, if we really wanted to.
- I want everyone to have jobs, but I believe that we can recreate what that looks like without destroying the environment or our cultural heritage in the process. The 21st century deserves 21st century answers.
- I don’t begrudge the capitalist, but a business should pay its workers a wage that they can live on. If you cheat your workers, you’re not a business. You are a scam.
- I’m not religious but I believe in your right to freedom of religion. Respect it in return by not imposing your religious beliefs onto me.
You have the power and capacity to make change. Your voice can be one of solidarity, inspiration and influence that lifts the collective or it can be a voice that adds fuel to the fire. Which will it be?