Tzedek, tzedek tirdof. (Deuteronomy 16:20)
My heart aches more each day as the heat of hatred and racism is rising, and dry tinder of broken promises is accumulating on our streets. It’s hard to witness the injustice, cruelty, violence, disregard for human life and property, hatred and anger. People are hurting, scared, hopeless and angry. Private and public spaces and properties are devastated. The voices of the oppressed and their supporters are rising and they need to be heard. America is mourning the promise of justice and liberty as we mourn the dead.
History is repeating itself in familiar ways before our eyes, and this time it is on steroids. It’s almost hard to believe we are in the middle of three simultaneous disasters, but it cannot be denied. We have a pandemic comparable to the 1918 influenza epidemic, an economic situation reminiscent of the Great Depression and racial anger and violence similar to that of the sixties.
How we navigate through all this as individuals and as a society will determine the future.
What can we do?
Although the heat on the streets is this week’s focus, and it seems like the coronavirus disappeared, it did not. Please stay safe and follow physical distancing guidelines. I’m asking us to continue to remain strong and hopeful despite the heartbreak and despair and the long road to mending ahead of us on all three fronts: the epidemic, the economy and racism. We are agitated and upset about all of them and the call of the moment is to find a way to stay safe and calm as we find useful ways to respond.
Pray and find solace as much as you can. Do connect with your breath to help calm down several time a day. Support one another with acts of caring and encouragement. Think of what right action you can take and what is wise and useful to do to advance our society in the right direction. One small step at a time, one relationship at a time. Be kind to everyone. We are all trying to figure out our way through this in the best way we know how. Be open to finding new paths to remain optimistic and creative. Necessity is the mother of invention. These are times which necessitate care, kindness, change and reinvention.
Racism has been with us for too long. We are strengthening our commitment to working for justice so it is not here for much longer.
Let’s keep our hope for humanity alive and find the good on the path to justice, health and well-being.
At times like these when it’s hard to find the words, I find more solace and meaning in prayer, meditation, nature and connecting to others. I pray for peace, justice, repair and reconciliation.
Please stay well and reach out to me for support when you need it.