The last four months have bled my mind dry. I now long for the days when I would wake up, look at the news and worry only about the toll the pandemic was taking on the world. I did not enjoy those stories, but I knew that science would prevail at some point and we would solve that problem. We may be inconvenienced for a while, maybe a year or two, but it will get better.
Now I wake up and read news that's so much worse. People are dying because of reasons that should not be. The pain is all compounding and it simply is too much.
I have to explain to my kids what is going on -- and doing so creates fear that shouldn’t have to be there. I had to help them understand there are far too many people in the world who have to tread lightly because they are afraid every day that someone may hurt them for no reason other than the color of their skin. If you thought the human psyche was holding on by a fragile thread of sanity before the last week, that thread has snapped. It is gone.
The worst thing about the last few weeks is that our leadership shows no compassion, nor decency. Our leadership is simply, in a word, absent.
I'm not just talking about the President. I am talking about Congress and all the “leaders” we see in government. I’m talking about all of the federal government and their inability to lead through difficult times.
I am also speaking about the media and its desire to further flame the fires of hate and division. The news networks have a responsibility to share information and to help guide the national consciousness, but they are unable to do so because we live in a media environment driven more by social media than the evening news. There is no Walter Cronkite. Instead, there is Mark Zuckerberg. Twitter may be finally taking a stand, but Facebook is not. I think they should.
The media can help to spread rational thought and stoke the symbols of hope. I was fortunate enough to hear people like Ford Foundation President Darren Walker speak multiple times this past week, offering words that everyone should hear. I heard Killer Mike from Run The Jewels speak, and his words were resonant.
These people have the words that can help heal, and the media needs to spread them.
The media has to help when our leaders won’t, spreading the words of intelligent, compassionate, empathetic people who can help heal our minds and communities.
I have very few words left, but the words I have should be used to help.
I hope they do.