The frustration and outrage many of us are experiencing these days is understandable, but they are not enough. Working successfully with all the negativity and darkness that threaten to overwhelm means understanding in what ways we may have unwittingly been complicit in its emergence. Dark movements don’t happen all by themselves, they have help and it isn’t productive to displace responsibility solely on some conveniently placed evil ‘other/s’.
It’s tempting though, isn’t it? Better may be to ask, ‘how have I, despite good intentions, assisted?’ There’s no getting away from the fact that we all have an element of darkness present in our souls. It’s a defining part of what it means to be human and struggle with all the flux, transformation and change that are inevitable expressions of life. It’s part and parcel of the whole. So, what to do?
Frisking ourselves for even the minutest shades of prejudice and personal bias is probably a good place to start, especially observing and contemplating ways in which these play out negatively in the lives of others we come into contact with each day. Our biases, invisible though they may be to us, still have consequences that end up being experienced by people who share the environment with us.
It’s about becoming more alive to the life inside and all around us rather than editing large, discomforting chunks of it out in the creation of what is often a lopsided worldview favouring personal predilections that may come at the expense of others.
Whatever we do we should not in further denial assume the mantle of ‘angel’ and become some odious version of a do-gooder. The way I see it we need to move way past any well-intended sentimental sense of political correctness here.
Our current political climate calls for robustness of heart and substance of action.
Therefore, proceed with curious attention, caution and an uncommon degree of care.