It was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . .
Although right now, it feels more like the worst.
Normally, I don’t blog (much) about what is happening in the world — the politics, the horrific shootings, the racism, the homophobia, the fear, the bigotry, the anger and rage.
But it feels like there is some kind of confluence of events that is pushing me to write something, because my brain is full of the challenges of these times. Ironically, there are two blogs that are part of this.
First the worst of times . . .
Splendid Sass, is a design blog that I’ve been reading for years. In the last month, the blogger has written a number of pieces that have nothing to do with design, but are focused on her opinions about current issues: radical Islam, the issue of who uses which bathroom, immigration, etc.
I agree with almost nothing she says, but, unlike some, have not unsubscribed to her blog. I’ve actually made comments stating my own views, which are definitely in the minority.
Last week she posted about some of the consequences for her for stating her opinions. She has received a ton of hate mail, awful tweets, vicious messages on Facebook, etc.
I don’t why I’m so surprised, since the dogs of war have been unleashed in this country and the venom and hatefulness is on every side of the political spectrum. But it is still shocking and frightening.
Certainly, she and I disagree fundamentally, but how have we come to this place in time when hate and malice rule our discourse?
Now the best. . .
The other blog is written by Michael Twitty, and called Afroculinaria. Twitty is an African American, gay, Jewish man. Some combination, right? And one of the most articulate, insightful, creative writers I have ever read. And that’s an understatement. He is brilliant and writes about some serious subjects with grace and civility. If you have some time, take a look at his blog. Thanks to my friend Dottie, for telling me about his blog.
Lastly, I think about the words of Howard Zinn, the historian and activist:
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should life, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
Lastly, my apologies for not blogging last week; we were at a family reunion in New Jersey. A wonderful and inspiring event that I will remember for a long time.