I’m an introvert.
I once used stick figure drawings to demonstrate this.
There’s a bubble of space around me I don’t like people invading. I’ve often gotten downright cranky when people have tried.
Even more recently, I’ve come to see a different kind of bubble.
Long before I realized it, I was in a bubble of light. It was mostly warm, and cozy, and illuminated by lots of other friend-filled bubbles around me.
Then Ferguson caught my attention, and I caught glimpses of darkness out beyond these bubbles of light.
I explored. I spoke. And, finally, I moved on, exhausted.
I soaked up the light and forgot my fear of the darkness I’d seen out where light couldn’t–or didn’t–reach.
As the Democratic primaries neared conclusion, I saw darkness again.
I reoriented my bubble so I could no longer see the darkness.
That only worked for a little while. The darkness began peeking through no matter which way I turned.
So rather than fearing its seeping in, I held my breath, clenched my fists, and stepped out into the darkness.
I soon learned that very, very few people are permitted cozy bubbles of light. Their–our–bubbles were purchased by others’ pain.
I learned that my country’s leaders have, for decades, spread the darkness for impoverished people they haven’t (yet) killed worldwide. They have done this for corporate gain.
I discovered my comfortable bubble was paid for by genocide.
“I can’t fucking believe we’re committing fucking genocide!” I roared in agony to friends.
“Mind your language!” they retorted.
Now I see how many lives depend on light breaking through all that darkness.
I’m ashamed I spent so much time in my own bubble. I’m ashamed I tried to hold that light in and keep it just for me and those the very, very nearest to me. More than that, I’m committed to standing outside my friends’ bubbles and encouraging them to burst those bubbles and share their light. To penetrate the darkness and illuminate the world for everyone.
Burst that bubble!
Share that light!
The light outside will be much dimmer than what you’re used to, at first …
… but to many who’ve never had any hope of ever affording their own protective neoliberal bubble, the light may well be blinding.
Please read my sister’s impassioned post
from earlier today.
It may hurt. It may be scary.
It may also well be part of your path to letting
If you’re willing to take the journey outside your bubble,
we’ll be overjoyed to walk that road with you,
growing all our strength in solidarity.
Yesterday morning, my seven-year-old son heard my husband, Anthony, and I talking about election results.
“What happened?” asked Li’l D.
“Trump won the presidency,” we explained to him.
He looked stricken.
“Oh, sweetie,” I said. “I know you’ve heard a lot of terrible things at school. But, you know what? Lots of people you love voted for Trump.”
Anthony and I listed these people, and emphasized how much they love him and are committed to protecting him and keeping him safe.
Many people are afraid right now.
Some of that fear is very reasonable, particularly for minorities. Some Trump supporters hold bigoted beliefs, and some portion of those feel enabled by Trump’s victory.
But some of that fear was carefully cultivated by the DNC, which very intentionally elevated Trump’s candidacy–and fear about his supporters–starting early 2015 to improve Clinton’s chances of victory.
On both sides, fear has been used to divide and conquer us.
I wrote this morning about why I would have voted for Trump were there only two choices. I hope you’ll read the post and consider the possibility that some of what you’ve learned has been wrong.
(I’ve spent the last six months doing this, and it’s been painful to understand how my ignorance has helped hurt people. You’ve seen some of that in anger that’s sometimes bled through here, less at anyone else and more at myself that it took me so very, very long to see.)
Please don’t categorize people as “self” and “other” right now. Resist the urge, as I must personally be vigilant about doing right now.
Please, please listen to each other, hear each other, stand up for each other–even if your voice or knees shake–and fight against the fear machine.
You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.
Take that love and let it shine, because that love translated to action is quite literally what it’ll take to save this world for our children.