i’ve been trying to write this blog for 2 weeks. today, i’m doing it, and it’ll be what it’ll be.
first off, my heart goes out to all on the east coast who have suffered loss in the storm. it’s a sobering reminder that the forces of nature have no prejudice and that life is fragile and precious.
2 weeks ago, my partner’s dad died suddenly. it was a sunday afternoon in la, early evening in iowa, where he was rushed to the emergency room and died of an aortic aneurism while waiting for the surgeon to arrive. very tragic, and very unexpected. suffice to say, not what anybody was planning. my partner was, for all intents and purposes, george clooney’s character in “up in the air”. she flew 100,000 miles this year to achieve 1K status on United Airlines. she has her own 1K line, where somebody asks her by name what they can help her with. loyalty. or is it? i called that number and started explaining what had happened, expecting her to say “whatever you need, i’m so sorry”. instead, what she asked was “who are you to her” and “you realize the 5% bereavement fee will not apply to you”. “we’ll need you to send the death certificate when it’s available”, blah blah blah. 5% discount for the loss of her father. and we were on hold for 1 hour and a half making these arrangements. when did we as a society stop being human? think about it. when did we stop answering the phone to avoid dealing with our responsibilities and the uncomfortable feelings that arise when we encounter conflict? when did we opt for email over face to face communication? when did this happen?
did you ever hear the story of the frog in the boiling water? that’s right. because the frog jumped the fuck out of the boiling water. frogs aren’t stupid, just as humans aren’t stupid. but did you hear the story about the frog that climbed into the pot of lukewarm water? ooh it felt so good, just like a warm bath. then before he knew it, he boiled to death. gradually the water got hotter until it was too late to get out of it. subtle decline to sudden death. that’s where we are in our society. our government knows how to manipulate us, corporations know how to manipulate us. it is time to say no, i believe, to being taken advantage of by people who deem themselves powerful because they are rich. the only way any of this will change is if we start saying no. stop buying gas at stations that hike up their prices. stop paying for extra bags on airlines. write letters and express our disdain. stop giving people permission to treat us like crap.
my point is, i think, that we seem to think as a whole about taking care of ourselves instead of taking care of each other. i think it’s important to secure your own mask before securing your child’s mask- i get what that means. we need to be in a good place to give to others, but i think a big part of the problem in our society is the “every man for himself” mentality and the inherent fear that we don’t have enough to give because there’s not enough to go around. i used to live by that fear myself, in my own career. i used to begrudge my friends for having success because i thought i deserved what they were getting. that it wasn’t right or fair for somebody else to get something that i wanted. a friend of mine reminded me of how dangerous that mindset is. i have experienced the sadness and numbness that comes with living in that energy. it’s toxic, and i’m grateful to my friend for calling me out. i’m grateful to God for gently leading me back to a place of grace and thankfulness; of humility. let me tell you- those lessons do not come easy, and i know i have so much more to learn there. we all do, hopefully, until we have no breath. at least, i believe that’s my purpose here- to learn and grow so i can give and keep giving.
i guess what i want to convey today is that we need to think. we need to think about what our purpose is and how we can be the very best we can for each other. i want us all to come together and create a society that is community rather than a contest to see who can accumulate the most shit.
watch “a bugs life” if you haven’t seen it. i love how the ants don’t realize how much they can accomplish until they start working together as a community and discover how many more of them there are than the grasshoppers. what a powerful message! they became free by acknowledging their worth and strength. they stepped into their own shoes in such a beautiful and inspiring way. we can do the same thing. we can stop being silent out of fear and start taking some extraordinary actions out of love and selflessness because it’s the right thing to do.
have a great week, and thanks for letting me share.