This week I spent hours reading the position statements and angry or passionate or defensive or confrontative comments on Facebook. It is about guns and violence and abortion and mental illness and heroes and villains. They were all marked by a single thing and that was certitude. Everyone knows how to fix this problem, no one knows how to fix anything, we've had enough, we're not backing down. We're all so certain.
I've never been so sure of anything myself. It's the same thing I've been sure of for years, that this social system we operate within is broken deep down inside and the only fix for it is to pay people better for all the work, all the people, and have a real, airtight, all-the-way safety net, paid time off for all ALL mothers not just the ones with advanced degrees and good corporate jobs and lots of it, real safe happy childcare where kids can play and be loved, way less money spent on family law and way more money spent on family housing, no more calling child services and all the time helping overworked moms with love, no more school-to-prison pipeline, less testing, less homework, less prepping kids for college in third grade, more walks in the woods and bike riding after school and everyone gets four weeks of vacation and we build little houses and sidewalks or dirt paths instead of highways and lobbyists and let's teach kids how to identify edible plants in the woods instead of how to hide under desks from gunmen and let people take bottles of tap water onto airplanes for crying out loud and I'll teach you how to can tomatoes and tell stories about Japantown and come over to your house after work to make chili and you can knit something while I slice mushrooms and we'll turn waterfront park into a giant vegetable garden and hold the beer fest in a bar somewhere else because who needs to get drunk and forget their problems any more?
We're all supposed to be in this together. We're supposed to be advanced enough as a race to build community instead of seeing every single other human as a probable adversary. We ALL have pain. Let's tell each other about it later and we can cry but remember that we have enough money to solve all the problems we're just too boneheaded and insistent on our own personal rights to our own personal everything, pain guns cars front yard space on the road country kids spouses, we don't own anything people, this isn't our land, this isn't our very own personal universe, every breath of air is a privilege, work together, that woman sleeping under the bridge could be me, could be you.
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