This morning I had a sight that filled my heart and brightened my day. I was returning from my run on the trail when I saw a large group of school children who were out for a walk. Teachers were with them and the children were busy observing the plants, bugs, lizards and other things that weren’t frightened off by all of their noise. It was a modern group, carrying computer tablets instead of notebooks, many of them taking pictures and notes about what they saw.
With the events of the last few weeks, I also felt sadness about other children who cannot or will not be able to spend time learning and also feel safe. To see these children, learning new things about the world, their teachers just worrying that all of their children were still with the group, to see so much of what we want to be normal in the world, I felt such a mix of joy and sadness.
There are many discussions on how to fix the problems we see around us, I will let those discussions go on without me. Not because I don’t want to fix problems but because of the anger and fear I see in these discussions. What troubles me most is the adults who are afraid and angry and how little they realize the impact of their emotions on these young people. Young people are busy learning about our world and how it works, and so many of them are surrounded by fearful, angry people who are unable to share love and support. It is like a contagion, spreading, and there is no mask, no vaccine, no simple steps we can take to lessen all of the hurt.
For myself, I’m not someone who shapes opinions of large groups of people, I don’t have a way of speaking that changes minds, and my writing has a small reach. I want to do world changing things and I do not have a good toolset for making that change.
While I cannot make world changing events, I am choosing to let go of my fear and anger, not add to the contagion and use softer words when I do share my thoughts. Which is why I didn’t write and post anything right after the events after they happened. I naturally felt grief and anger and I didn't want those feelings to influence the writing I share with other people.
So I work to let go of my fear, my anger so that at least I don’t add to the problems. Letting go of my fear doesn't mean that I will suddenly become courageous or brave, rushing to do heroic acts. It does mean that I will strive to see others as people and to work a little harder at listening. It also means that I will work to have a bit of trust that today will be okay, that it’s safe to be alive. When I feel anger, I will recognize it as energy that wants to take action and work to move that energy into positive action that helps others. Perhaps with these small acts, I can help others to trust in the world a little bit more.