I forgot the meal portion of my lunch on the kitchen counter this morning. I’m not going to write long about that bit of foolishness, since there isn’t much to tell besides my dejection at finding a granola bar and a moderately bruised and crooked apple in my lunch bag. It seems I only forget my lunch when I have something particularly tasty: today the victim was a lovely dish of lemon-thyme chicken with rice and veggies. By the time I made it home from school, there was no hope for the meal unless I wanted to dine with Sam and Ella tonight.
Something dies inside a person when her lunch goes bad on the counter while she digs through her desk at work looking for something edible beyond reinforcements, root beer lip gloss, and licorice candies that used to be hard but are now simultaneously soft and gritty. I just sort of lost what little momentum I had in this already trying week.
I don’t think I am blue about a square plastic dish of poultry and starch. It just feels like this month is one big crap sundae (triple scoop) with a heavy drizzle of unidentified slop and an ingrown toenail on top. Nothing tragic or terrible has happened to me, or even to the people I care about. I’m grateful for that. I’m just tired of feeling like I’m getting no where and there’s all kinds of horrid news from the world at large.
That story about the man in Norway who killed 77 people (and is unwaveringly proud of himself) was on the news again tonight, and yesterday, and the day before that. A human rights activist was beaten viciously and left to die in on a Halifax street this week. Rest in peace, Mr. Taavel. I’m tired of people harming one another out of hatred. The whole concept is exhausting.
Alberta’s provincial election is less than a week away, and the politics are ugly and frightening. Case in point, a far-right activist placed flyers in all the mailboxes in my area which included a large, graphic photo of a decapitated pre-term baby and made wild, homophobic accusations about (my favourite) candidate. I was horrified and livid: today is the first day I’ve mentioned it because I didn’t trust myself to write about it without getting too angry to be at least somewhat articulate. I found out later the person who spread those awful flyers was accused of hate crimes in other provinces as well, and that people have been disturbed enough by his current campaign to notify police.
The news is flooded with statements of hatred and moral superiority reigns supreme among many in Alberta. I have never in my life heard so many statements in a political race about issues that have nothing to do with whether our province will be able to successfully educate its young, care for its elderly, and provide each of its citizens with an opportunity for a healthy and prosperous future. I am frightened to think that people will vote based on “hot button” topics rather than on the critical issues that truly influence our lives.
There are far too many barriers between people, and it seems folks still want to build fences rather than finding ways to better relate to one another. I’m sick of faith being used as an excuse for discrimination and conviction providing a cover for prejudice. As is often stated, we are the only species on the planet that rips itself apart on a regular basis. I can’t help but feel that we’re in grave danger of regressing as a society into the kind of divided communities we used to be thankful we’d grown beyond. There are days when it certainly seems human beings can’t help but repeat the sad patterns that have punctuated our history.
Since there isn’t too much I can do (particularly from my defeated feeling today) to effect change in the world at large, I am choosing to promote positive acts in my community. I will be donating to Habitat for Humanity this month in an effort to spread caring for my fellow human in my own little way. If you’re also moved to do something to tip the scales back toward love and compassion, I encourage you to contribute to a cause close to your heart, even if that means making a mindful effort to spread a little more kindness in the world. Heaven knows we need it.
Love one another, people. It’s a simple concept that seems so far beyond us.
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