I am, however, viscerally and acutely aware of every single new video of police violence against unarmed black people and of each move by worldwide authoritarian governments against the institution of the press and of each murder of each journalist and of every casual abrogation of the humanity and rights of immigrants and refugees.
It is not possible to pay attention to everything; it is not possible to fight every fight. It is true, however, that there is always a cause that can use our light. There is always a fight we can help to win.
I have found much comfort and inspiration in this teaching from the Pirkei Avot: “It is not your responsibility to complete the work (of perfecting the world), but neither are you free to desist from it.” (2:16, attributed to Rabbi Tarfon)
“…we are each other’s
we are each other’s
we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.”
“Hold On, she whispers.
Another day, when I have to tip-toe
around the police and passive-aggressive emails
from people who sit only a few feet away from me.
Another day of fractured humans
who decide how I will live and die,
and I have to act like I like it
so I can keep a job;
be a team player, pay taxes on it;
I have to act like I’m happy to be
slammed, severed, and swindled.
Otherwise, I’m just part of the problem— a rebel rouser and rude.”
Find what keeps you going, and the why, and the who.
the Black men and women I love
look into mirrors and wonder
if they are loose teeth
in the mouth of an impatient god
are you okay
please remind me you are breathing
I am scared
is not a good enough reason to not get out of bed
The world is falling apart
is not a good enough one either”
from “The Places We Are Not” by Sarah Kay
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