Water is a magnificent force of nature. It is still and gentle like a snowflake. Calming, like a drop of rain. Peaceful.
On the other hand, that same drop of water, while appearing to be dainty and harmless can, over time, etch a hole into stone. I believe Lucretius said it best, “the drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by the oft of falling.”
The pandemic came and felt more like a tsunami than a drop of water. Powerful. Deadly. Washing away everything in its path. And now, we are all changed. I know I am not alone when I say that fighting this pandemic and the aftermath has left me undone.
The long battle has been a burdensome fight in my home, as I work tirelessly to protect my children and parents. It has been a battle to support my staff, patients, and community. And friends, I am tired. Really tired. In some ways, it seems like the tsunami has subsided. Unfortunately, what is left behind is steady dripping water. Like a faucet that hasn’t been securely turned off.
It has been a year and two months since Covid disrupted our world. Since that time we have shut down, masked up, and tucked our children behind closed doors. In this new trip around the sun, we are reopening. But the harmful rhetoric, scarcity mindset, and divisiveness are still entrenched. It is disheartening, really.
I do not know about your personal choices or liberties and I am not here to judge or preach. What I am seeing is far more concerning and goes back to that steady drip, drip, drip…
It is the continued attack on those that are other, those who have the underhand, and it is without cease. The local school board and town council politics that are playing out like a presidential election. It has to stop.
I sit in ClubHouse rooms and hear multiple marginalized communities dishonor each other, claiming their community has it worse and the other is not valid or worse, bigoted or racist. I take part in diversity and inclusion discussions at my kids’ school. For months, we have focused on racism, prejudice, bias, and other topics with a focus on unlearning and understanding the harm and atrocities inflicted on our African American fellow community members. For months, a cohort of roughly eleven (plus or minus) families shows up to these monthly Zoom calls. The capstone for the year included a call on Becoming Nicole by Amy Nutt and over 20 families were in attendance. While transgender issues are my primary advocacy focus, I wonder why all of these people weren’t on the many other calls with us throughout the year?
Meanwhile, from a legislative standpoint, anti-transgender legislation is being passed in many states. This could cause an increase in suicide. An increase in DEATH. To clarify, lack of gender-affirming medical care scientifically correlates with an increase in death. It is a fact.
Nonetheless, we have people who are more focused on winning…something. This is the win they are bringing home. Legislating for their constituents and now my kid can’t get the help she needs from her doctor. Wow. In the end, this really comes back to a fundamental issue. Empathy.
Previously, I discussed the scarcity mindset versus the growth mindset. In an article from Stanford Medicine, Holly McCormic states that “people who believed empathy is flexible — not fixed — spent more time listening to the suffering of a person of another race and put more energy into trying to understand the opinions of a person with different political beliefs.”
In short, I believe the water will continue to fall and wear us down. Will it be that steady drip or another tsunami? That, I can not say. In the end, the division in our communities is the storm’s greatest strength. The hatred for marginalized communities whether they be black, trans, Asian, gay, lesbian, indigenous, you name it is what strengthens the storm. When we tear each other apart we strengthen them.
So friends, it has been a hard year and we are all worn down from both the surge of the storm and the steady rain that has followed in its wake. It is time to find the path forward TOGETHER. Who’s with me? All are welcome.