What will be required to create meaningful, equitable change in our lives? Certain truths have become evident to me during this pandemic that suggest collectively we have the need to pause, reflect, and consider what is truly needed to make sustained and real change so we can move forward in a good way. Having vacillated between watching the news too often and not watching it at all, I thought I had achieved some type of balance. This past week I have found that my focus has once again been on what has been going on in the world around me.
Thinking about some of the larger issues that we must confront, has caused me to wonder if we are simply spinning without direction only to end up with just more of the same problems we had pre-pandemic. Consider news events over the past week – the focus has shifted from how will we safely reopen and stave off a second wave of the virus that has wreaked havoc across the world to a long overdue and serious dialogue about systemic racism.
Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe have been involved in lending their voices to the Black Lives Matter protests in spite of the possible risks of spreading the coronavirus. Stories of racism that are being shared right now are heartbreaking and have precipitated a plethora of ideas about how to effect real changes.
One of the ideas that has been circulating through many communities is that police should be defunded. Journalists around the world are sharing news about more protests, petitions, and equally as many stories from politicians and police officials stating that they believe this is the wrong approach.
This seems to be a repeating process that we have seen with other critical issues such as climate change, the best strategies to manage this global pandemic, and better ways to care for the elderly and marginalized members of our society, etc. etc. Just as quickly as these stories are told, and shared widely we hear all of the rationale as to why suggested changes can’t be made. Point and counter point. Or worse yet, nothing more is written or discussed as the news cycles bring other issues forward.
During this time of loosening our lockdown, it seems more plausible that we might have an opportunity to come together to make changes that have been discussed for decades. There has been more emphasis on our collective global needs than ever before in my lifetime. So I can’t help wonder if this will be the moment in our history when we will change course en masse. Focus, tenacity, and individual commitment to change will be required on a large scale.
Electing politicians who are not narcissistic, self absorbed, and can be held to account would be a wonderful place to start. One can be criticized I suppose for dreaming of a kinder, more generous way of treating one another as well as a bonafide coming together to save our environment. But I don’t think that would stop me from writing about the need to do better than we are now. How about you? What do you think we should do to make a real impact at this time in our lives?