After several conversations today, I really wanted to talk about what it is like to be ALIVE right now in . . . America, and more than anything my neck of woods of OHIO. The neck of woods in Ohio is a small town that is only about 40,000, mostly made up of white republicans with a dash and taste of diversity and independents. I live roughly 90 miles south of Detroit Michigan and 90 miles north of Columbus. We aren’t much, but we are here and for me here means home; like a jackass I bought a house and planted my feet in the one place I swore to my younger self I never would.
A lot of my friends feel displaced right now…. maybe not displaced… more like…. mind-fucked by the climate of our weather, politics, and scandals. It is so hard to keep ‘current’ one whatever is coming at us all the time and when we are not ‘current’ many of us say what does CURRENT even mean if that is ALL they WANT you to know? That is right, what is it that the media, the propaganda, the chat-bots, the keyboard warriors, the tweets, the Facebook, the snaps…. what is it that THEY want US to know? The one thing they seem to NOT want us to know is reflection.
We never seem to give ourselves the time to reflect on where we have been and what we have become, and sometimes we do we feel like it is too late to make a difference. I will tell you that right now more than any other time it is NOW the time to make a difference. I know, its hard. Its super hard to be a good human being and to stand for what you want without recourse of losing your job or family; but if they are worth it they will stay by your side, hell sometimes people or jobs you didn’t know were there will come out of the woodwork. I also do know that giving yourself an option to reflect on who you are will only thrust you into what you want to be. Right now, we as a nation are in a state of reflection.
Is it okay for a man to masturbate in front of us? Is it okay that 40 years ago a man raped a woman while she was getting off work? Is it okay to let someone kneel for the anthem? What does that statue of limitations mean for us as humans–not law–but ourselves? At what point do we accept things for what they are and then decide it is time to change that?
It was not that long ago that we allowed segregation; hell it is still going on with gerrymandering. It was not that long ago that we allowed people to marry someone of the same sex. It wasn’t that long ago some of our mothers burned their bras and our fathers were drafted into the war. It was not that long ago that we impeached Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. It was not that long ago that we saw figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King go all too sudden. It was not that long ago that the Berlin wall was torn down. All these things seem like HISTORY; because they are; but they also came with dedication and influence of the PEOPLE.
We forget the strides we have made. Sure, it didn’t happen without death tolls, war, and hate. But it came because WE decided that sometimes things needed to CHANGE. Change didn’t come into History books and channels and YouTube videos without pain and suffering. I know it sucks and hurts to no avail. I know that you think this all some kind of ridiculous bullshit that we could have stopped; we could of because voting does count in numbers; but we are the stopping point. YOU, the reader, YOU are the stopping point. No. I don’t want you to go to your nearest social media and post it or your camera and click it, I want YOU to go experience it. Yes, pictures and words make the world go around–but I want to remind you that there are people who do this for a living and they can only be in so many places at once. So until you are the next great fame of literature or photography I want you to look at your TIME TO BE ALIVE realistically. Honestly. Look at YOUR LIFE and what CAN YOU DO to make things better?
You could go volunteer ONE DAY and go see what those who are serving the homeless see. You could go volunteer ONE DAY and go visit a sick stranger in the hospital. You could go VOLUNTEER ONE DAY at any cause in your local …. anything… and make a difference. When you go to Volunteer at these places, I want you to turn off your phone. DO NOT LOOK for FAME OR JUSTICE in some post of you doing good, go LOOK inside of yourself for the feelings you are having doing something more than your life. Be consumed NOT by social media, NOT by propaganda, NOT by an article, NOT by a post, NOT by a picture but a life you are LIVING. You can tell your friends and your family and your co-workers how great you are for this ONE act of kindness, or maybe you could just keep doing it. YOU ARE ALIVE right now when the world is completely a mess and make it less messy for one person or maybe perhaps just for yourself.
Reflect on your change, reflect on what it is immediate to you, reflect on the things that are TANGIBLE for you to fix, I promise once you see what YOU can do you can see what WE CAN DO. It starts with you first and just for once getting off your phone, your computer, your high-horse, and going to make a difference in the life you actually live will change how you feel about this time to be alive.
Let me know how that works out for you, in all honesty, I would love to know your story so please reach out at any time because my eyes and ears are always open; except when I sleep. 😉
Thank you for being ALIVE.