The pages of this site have been quiet for awhile. While that wasn’t intentional, it was needed.
Pardon me for being quiet, but please know I haven’t been absent. Let me explain.
My last post was in May. May is also the month my son was born. And the month I was born.
George Floyd was killed on my birthday.
The pandemic has been weird and an adjustment for all of us. I turned 44 this year. My wife and coworkers surprised me with an outdoor, socially distanced, drive by birthday. There were friends (masked and at a distance), beverages, waves, and laughter. In short, I had love and laughter.
At the same time I was enjoying the best wealth that life has to offer, friendship, Floyd was pleading for his life. That dichotomy, which I was unaware of at the time, is now not lost on me.
I was not aware of the incident until the next day. The following days were a blur of news, video clips, and comments.
And then the conversations hit. I’m thankful for the conversations. Friends who knew the endless loop of a video of a man, who could have been me, would have been traumatic for me. Friends who wanted to know what to do next. Friends uncomfortable with their feelings.
These conversations gave me hope.
I also had conversations with acquaintances or people to whom I was connected. Some of these were intentional. Most were accidental.
Many of these conversations worried me. Frustrated me.
They also challenged me.
I began to realize that there were people with whom I could trust to have difficult conversations. It doesn’t mean that we could or would agree about everything, but I could trust them enough to be vulnerable. And earn their trust to be vulnerable with me.
I also began to realize that there were people with whom I made a mistake trusting enough to have a conversation. People who expected me to respect their experiences, but quickly dismissed what I had experienced. People who would trust the punchline of a meme before they listened to the experience of a 44 year-old friend.
I watched with dismay as people who I held in regard and with respect shared articles and memes that figuratively made light of the tenuous situation that I experience daily. And while they claimed to respect me and my family, they never acknowledged the hurt that I felt. Instead they would claim simply that there was blame on “both sides”.
Side note: Correct me if I’m wrong, but the opposite side of inclusion is exclusion. I’m for inclusion. What other “side” could you be on?
I began to speak up more. I began to read more. Now I hope to write more.
I don’t have answers. I don’t believe that I have solutions.
However, I firmly believe that each of us has the power to share the light and positivity within us.
And that is my goal moving forward – to share the little light I have.
There’s a quote by the late August Wilson (my favorite playwright) that goes:
All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.
Dear readers, I wish you two handfuls – one full of love and the other full of laughter with enough to share.