Hey folks, believe me I want to get back to the terrible dad jokes and puns I share that take us away for a second from the crazy of the world. You may have noticed I stopped posting them-save for a couple of silly coffee references? They will come back someday. I hope you’ll still be here when they do. Despite what every one of the “experts” say about building platforms and reaching people with a niche.
You may have noticed (depending on what the almighty algorithms send you) I have refused to share just one kind of thing – e.g. jokes – because the mission and message of being for you and for your “soaring” are more important than the “success” of these outreach efforts as measured by numbers. Your personal messages of how you find value in what I share mean way more than any number of likes or number of followers I may have across platforms.
I share jokes AND quotes AND stories because that is how I usually feel and hopefully show up – with a mixture of buoyant mirth, joy, peace, hopeful encouragement and a quest to get us all to reflect and change (and perhaps even serve something bigger than us.)
Well I woke up this morning, as I have the last couple of weeks, and I couldn’t find where I put my mirth and joy? My peace and hope were there, with the God I went to in my sorrow, but my urge to post snarky photos was missing in action? I’m going to look for it and I know God will help me find it again, but today it is not there. A nation is hurting, a people within that nation are angry and fed up with accepting an existence that is not by any rational measure an equal and equitable existence.
I will pause here to tell you before you read on that I hope you know I love every single one of you as I share this, it is not meant to hold me above these matters but rather just to help remind us all-some of you have been around me long enough to have seen all (or something) of the ugly as well as the good I have to offer and share. .
While the God I follow does tell us no one matters more than any other, black lives do and should matter more than enough to change our hearts and our ways – systemically – and that is all anyone is trying to say.
I don’t think the vast majority of people fighting for change right now are saying all us white people are racists or every one of our race is a racist, but I think the message is a little closer to : “hello in there – wake up – take a look – we are all complicit in racism and maybe that is just harder to see in this case, with us, if you are not our race and haven’t lived this story with us.”
One of my sons reminded me that when one house is on fire we don’t send fire trucks to ALL the houses. We show up for the one in flames. Our nation’s black people’s house is on fire folks – in fact it’s been burning a long time now and some are just now waking up to the inferno as if it hasn’t been smoldering and sparking all along. Folks are just holding up a giant nationwide sign saying – this way to the fire – please help we didn’t start it and we can’t put it out by ourselves – it’s gonna take all of us – hurry !
What can you do? I don’t know ? I am trying to figure that out myself and struggling mightily, but I can tell you I’m gonna grab a hose-I’m gonna help put out the flames-I might even get burned a little in the process?
If that doesn’t sit well with you or you can’t muster the courage to do that with me, whatever you do -if you truly love your neighbor-please-I beg of you – don’t fan the flames or pour gas on them. Don’t point people down the wrong street to distract from the fire.
Please, if you can do nothing else with your love for your fellow man, if you are too set in your ways or your channels or your positions, just watch while the rest of us try like hell to do something about this, but don’t make it harder than it already is and has been for centuries. Please.
I want my mirth and joy back. I want snark and dad jokes for everybody every day. I don’t want anyone to have to worry so much for their lives and their kids lives and their neighbors’ lives and all black lives that they can’t share a mutual laugh on a Sunday morning with me.
Today I just can’t bring myself to do it. My mirth has turned to mourning.
Maybe that’s no big loss to you? It’s certainly nothing compared to the lives lost needlessly, and maybe you don’t think your one post or your one share or your one comment means anything – but it does because it is a drop in the bucket that together make up an ocean of waves crashing against the beach of equality. The gradual wearing away of the sand with your one nugget of indifference or vitriol is enough to have caused the solid ground to have slippped from beneath the feet of millions of your fellow Americans. I am a uniter at heart. As one beloved friend told me I “stand in the gap.” It is what I pride myself on, most of the time, but this is not a time for standing in the gap alone.
To get back to the original metaphor – it is a time to put out the flames for good. We can’t just play at this one and tamp the inferno down to a smolder and move on. There is too much at stake for that.
Love you all, J