Not so long ago but far enough away to feel like forever I told someone to walk across the bridge and meet me in the middle.
We could take a step into a new reality or choose to keep walking in the direction each of us was heading.
It would be false to say I didn’t wonder what would happen if I kept walking just as it would be true to say I figured sometimes the parallel lives we think we are living intersect in multiple places.
That is a thought that has crossed my mind on multiple occasions today.
A day marked by anger over police shootings and deep thought about what needs to happen to move us past the positions we naturally gravitate towards.
I thought long and hard about how to speak with my children about what we see and the importance of standing up to be counted.
Because there comes a time in all of our lives in which silence is consent and or approval for both the things we approve and disapprove of.
The bad stuff doesn’t always happen because of bad of people doing bad things. Sometimes it happens because the good are ignorant or willfully blind.
And so I found myself sitting on the sidelines of Facebook watching the angry people assume their positions while I wondered what I needed to do.
Because I wasn’t going to remain silent nor was I going to start shouting for the sake of shouting. I wanted to something that wasn’t loaded with terms like purpose and intent.
Don’t mistake that to be my attempt to disparage purpose and intent because those are good words but I wanted more than good words, I wanted action.
I want to say when I stood up to be counted it did more than just add noise to a chorus of angry voices.
Leave enough slack in that rope and you’ll keep that heart safe and secure but pull too hard and it will be forced to assume a position it was never meant to take.
The question isn’t whether the heart will break or if it will be powered by that nameless something that allows it to take the pain.
It is whether it is necessary or something that can, could or should be avoided.
Is it part of a teaching moment, a life lesson that people need to undergo so that they can grow and become the person they want and or meant to be?
Or is that the sort of new agey, moral mush that people throw out to explain the inexplicable?
As I sit here writing news of more shootings and more violence is pouring in and my heart is filled with anger and with pain.
It is hard not to look at this moment in time and fight to find a place to gain perspective and say “this is the worst it will get, it is going to get better” because I am not sure that I really believe it.
I want to.
It feels good to say that rational thought will overcome blind anger and that people will talk and listen.
But if I look at what I see online there is more adaptation of hard stances and more voices shouting past each other.
If I look online I see a lot of bad stuff fueling the fire on the sides that are forming but I also see some real conversations taking place.
I see people really trying to listen and to be heard.
I see people trying to find the common ground and that gives me hope.
Hope that we’ll walk together and find that new reality and that the worst is past or soon to be over.
That is one father’s hope now if we can do what needs to be done to make it into something more than that.
Purpose and intent without action are words that lack nobility.
It is time to stand up and be counted.