On Current Events

It takes a lot to rattle me. Blame the career path, working in a prison doing therapy face-to-face with convicted sex offenders right out of grad school to helping federal inmates get their lives together after long incarcerations, not to mention the part-time stint with the coroner's office. Blame the childhood of drug and alcohol use around me, the death of my father, the millions of people in and out, the moving here and there. Blame the punk rock scene I grew up in, always aware of racism, sexism and classism and always looking for a way to smash the systems that made the world less awesome. I would say that there is not much to make me sit down and say holy shit, but today, I did. I had bile come up into my throat as though something terrible was happening to me (because something terrible was happening to the world). Yet I forced myself to watch every second of the video showing a man being shot dead with his girlfriend and child in the car because I can't just look away and also holy shit. Did that really happen?

I am so rattled that I am actually turning here just to put my thoughts down and hope that someday I can look back on this and be grateful that things got better. I want to look back on this and be glad that changes finally happened, whether you like guns or, like myself, find no purpose for them. Whether you are a cop, like friends and family of mine, or a convicted felon, like friends and family of mine. Whether you have a mental health issue or help to treat people with them. Whether you are black or white or some color in between. I want to say that all those people decided that the bullshit was enough and worked together to make some sort of change they could all agree on. We are smart and evolved and inclined to do good, so that is what should happen. It is in our genetic makeup to avoid danger and seek out happiness and love, so we should do that.

This is what I will tell my children when they ask me what they can do when things are not good. This is what I will tell myself when I wonder what to do. I will continue to wake up and anticipate the best out of people and know that bad decisions are made that create bad situations at all levels and I will try and change them every single day in the smallest of ways and the biggest of ways.

Be the change you wish to see in the world, right?

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