By: Vanessa Burnett – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
💭 So there’s something kind of big coming up this weekend. I’ve been thinking a lot about doing a post about it and so here we are.
It’s a challenge because I don’t want to be like lecture-y. I’d like to go with more of a humanity-y tone. We’ll see how this goes.
The suicide cult plague people are apparently already lining up and camping out for Trump’s big Saturday super spreader ego feeder narcissism event designed to maim and kill Trump’s own supporters in Tulsa.
I have been hoping for the last week or two that some force will intervene and stop this damn thing. It’s very sickening. To the core. ☣️ And also literally. Not going to be a metaphor. That’s going to be some hard reality.
There’s this tendency to be casual or even celebratory that Trump’s own supporters are marching to their own death and suffering.
A lot of those people are – let’s face it – racist assholes. Delusional. Obviously science-impaired. The list goes on and on. But that’s not the point here.
Almost everyone I know has parted ways, grieved, tried to talk some sense into, or otherwise dealt with Trump supporters they’ve known or still know. Many of whom are people that some of us love. Some of that love is from a very very safe and faraway distance. But it’s still love. They’re still people. Many are people we’ve had connection with for whatever reason over our complex life times.
Now this is not to say that I am in support of these people. I’m not. They’ve done a whole hell of a lot of damage by electing this guy. 🔥 They wanted to burn the country down and they’re getting that. Mission accomplished. We’re well on our way.
And the intolerance, hatred, fear, bias, and flat-out racism is atrocious and hurtful. Absolutely atrocious and hurtful. No debate about that.
But what’s going to happen at this ego feeding super spreader plague pushing explosive infectiousness event is that a whole lot of people are going to take this disease and they are going to spread it.
They are going to suffer.
People they know and interact with while they’re going around not wearing masks between now and when at least some of them they get sick are going to pick it up and spread it more. 🌪️
They’re going to spread it to grocery stores and workplaces and all of this crap that’s open in a world in which we should not be having rallies or shopping or movies or bowling or whatever the hell it is that people think is so critical.
It’s going to lead to cascading effects from infrastructure interruptions like when entire facilities that aren’t taking precautions get infected.
It’s going to lead to first-responders and healthcare workers who are trying to save lives getting overwhelmed and getting infected.
I’m not saying anything groundbreaking. Many who read this will not be surprised by any of this.
But when I look at this event and the coming storm that it is, what I see is a great tragedy. I see suffering.
I see ventilators in people’s future.
I see refrigerated trucks outside of hospitals and indoor skating rinks refrozen to hold bodies.
I see nursing homes struck because we let our guard down. Because we allowed a super spreader event in a state that’s not shut down and that has actively spreading infection.
Viruses thrive on connection and community.
The very things we need to hold our society together are the ways this virus gets us.
But when it gets us, and we’re suffering, or someone we know is suffering by themselves alone in the hospital in a makeshift ICU without their people around, would you still be laughing? Saying they deserve it?
There’s karma and there’s justice. We all have our own spiritual and ethical perspectives.
In my own, humanity, connection, and love are the things that rule.
I am never going to be able to celebrate someone else suffering. Even Chuck Grassley. Even Steve King. Oh my gosh once you start with a list like this you can so easily keep going. Iowa governor Kim Reynolds. Lindsey Graham. Moscow Mitch Obviously Trump. Boy I should not have started with this.
Those people are all nasty god-awful selfish hypocritical mean awful terrible morally corrupt vile people.
But I can’t wish suffering on humans. I just can’t do it.
You don’t have to either.
I’m not telling you that to admonish. I’m saying that maybe for permission or something.
On the other side of this in a year or two after what is going to be a whole lot of death and destruction, we’re going to want to have our humanity intact. We’re going to want to have our integrity.
There’s a quote from Yoda – you know, master in humanity – that says “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”
Years ago when I was doing deep spiritual work on a hell of a journey, a friend gave me that same advice but in a different format. It’s stuck with me. I’ve had to remember it a lot.
As we go through this crisis, we’re going to have these moments where moral courage will be powerful, noticed, and transformative.
That moral courage doesn’t have to come in gigantic, huge, dramatic acts.
It can be as simple as embracing humanity. Everyone’s humanity. Humanity itself. The humanity of those we don’t like or understand or have any patience for whatsoever. The humanity of the meanest nastiest scourge of the earth.
One of the reasons that we got here to this moment is because of a lack of empathy. It’s also obviously because of selfishness and greed and racism and fear and a whole long list of other stuff. But empathy plays a part.
We’re going to need it for moments like this. We’re going to need it for moments like in 3 weeks when people from the super spreader event are going to be suffering… and as the disease spreads in the communities where all of those disease vector people go.
I’m pissed off too. The list is long. I’m as pissed off at his supporters as I am at Trump. There’s no way not to be. For me anyway. That man’s complete failure to act every single day kills thousands. Daily.
That’s not the story we’re telling but that’s the story that’s true.
I’m not so pissed that I can wish suffering on others.
I’m not telling you not to. I can’t tell anyone what to do. That’s not my business.
I am well aware that the people we know now and the people we’re going to know on the other side are going to shift and change. There’s a lot of evolving and loss on its way. I don’t think any of us are going to escape that.
We all choose the people we walk forward with to a certain extent, however. I’ve been on a very deliberate process on that behind the scenes right now myself.
What I find is that the people I am most drawn to are the people who love deeply, who maintain faith in humanity, and who believe there are ways forward through this that involve loving people. Maybe not all of them. But a lot anyway.
We’re going to need good people.
We’re going to have to let some fall away. And some will take care of that all on their own.
It is my belief that we will get through this in the most successful ways if we are able to embrace our humanity and be serious about looking after it.
I don’t come to that belief lightly. I come to it knowing for certain since 2011 that the United States would not be able to handle multiple simultaneous catastrophes, and especially a pandemic. I’ve been thinking about how we can survive that level of chaos ever since then. Never factored in the political leadership and the government itself making the whole damn thing worse, exponentially, daily.
But here we are.
And the way through it is with each other.
To quote Negan, unfortunately, from The Walking Dead (he’s a villain type, which is an understatement), “People are an asset.”
Yeah, they are.
We need connection, community, resilience, problem solving, and adaptability.
And we need love. My inner homeland-security-firefighter-seasonal-park-ranger-construction-worker-small-town-need-to-be-tough self is not good at talking about the love stuff, dammit. But we’re going to need it.
It’s already behind a lot of what we’ve been doing well with this. It’s behind people doing their jobs. It’s behind people protesting for each other. It’s behind advocacy and rage and overwhelm.
So when you look at this weekend’s tragedy in the making, maybe if we step back…. like way, way, way, way, way back…. maybe we don’t have to like the people or whatever.
But maybe at the very least we can not celebrate the suffering, demise, and heartbreak that is coming their way. And that they will cause.
Because it’s coming.
These people are like the gift that keeps on giving. That’s definitely what they’re going to keep doing. Spreading death and tragedy. Just like what they did electing this aspiring authoritarian.
I don’t even know what to say. The level of anger that I have is so deep.
Their recklessness, naivety, hatred, fear, and cultish behavior is going to kill thousands more than just them.
I’m never going to be able to celebrate that. The damage these people are going to do. It’s one thing to put yourself in harm’s way. It’s another thing to put everyone else in it.
And the president is the worst one of all of them. He’s likely to catch it, too. I doubt the US Secret Service will have him in a plexiglass box with his own air circulation. He wants to hear the crowd.
He’s also a sadist. There’s obviously a very deep illness in a man who brings people together knowing damn well it will cause suffering.
We’re in a dark moment. People are going to fall away. People are going to fall into the abyss. People are going to fall into the darkness.
I don’t want to be one of them.
I don’t want to live a life of hatred like these poor sad, selfish, angry people marching to their deaths (and the future deaths of others) this weekend.
I’m not going down the dark path.
Your path is your business.
We all have to make choices. But we don’t make them in a vacuum. And we don’t have to keep people around who we don’t agree with. We’re in the fight of our lives. We need to be in at least some alignment with the people we’re walking with.
Godspeed to us all.
This transformation moment is not for the faint of heart.
It’s for the courageous. And we all can be.
Be safe. Love people. Hold the light. It’s out there.
And in the name of all that is good and holy, try not to get dead. It’s getting trickier.
Vanessa Burnett is a disruption coach and consultant at Counterfear.com, helping people and organizations navigate and create disruption. A career in disaster management, resilience-building, infrastructure, and technology innovation informs her current work. Vanessa is also the President of the Shift the Country PAC, working to foster tipping points across the US through connection, community, and resilience to create real world shift.
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