We Have To Take Care Of Each Other

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

There is a lot of tragedy around.

That is an understatement

It's going to hit all of us at different times and in different ways. From all the things. Life. From the things behind why there are now persistent protests. From the protests. From the virus. From the cascading effects of a system interdependencies and interruptions. From extremely poor execution of public health practices in many areas. From politics. From ignorance. From ego. From fear.

Whatever. Whatever it is. We're going to have a lot more tragedy and we've already got a lot more around than we're used to dealing with ever at one time in the United States. Most of us. Or perhaps most of us reading stuff like this on this platform.

Here's my point. We have to take care of each other.

I say that a lot but I don't always get into how.

Right now probably at least some of the people you know are experiencing some level of tragedy. Do you know about it? Are you helping? Is there a way to help? Is there a way to just be supportive?

But then being supportive and helping can involve carrying some pretty heavy loads. If you are helping and supporting someone with some level of tragedy, do you have support? Are you looking after yourself? Do you have people that you can go to?

We're not all in a position to help someone who is dealing with a tragedy, or to be helping someone else who is. Sometimes we're in survival mode ourselves. Sometimes we think we're in survival mode and we're not. One thing about this moment is that it's going to do a lot of education about what it means to survive.

My point is that we need each other probably more than we ever have. We need to look after each other. We need to check in on each other.

I've been kind of terrible at it myself since the 2018 election if I'm honest. I've gotten so deep into structural work to try and do some good so that we stop electing rural US racists but more so that we actually elect a good people... but I've neglected some relationships. A couple of big ones. Things in some relationships are not where I'd like them to be, or maybe where they could have been had I been investing. Along the way I got into survival mode; which has been justified, but which also makes it harder to invest time in things other than the survival.

I'm not telling that story so that I get kudos or reinforcement or whatever else about my decisions.

I'm telling it because it's a fact.

Years ago I got some spiritual grounding, and part of that was really anchored In humanity. Being more present with people. Being more authentic with people. Dropping what I was doing to be present and authentic with people. Building relationships. Consciously. Building community. Consciously.

Honestly I haven't been as good at it since the 2016 election. For lots of reasons.

But after the 2018 election I decided consciously to take a deep dive into trying to do some good in ways that I didn't see others digging into. Overall I think that's been a good investment and a good strategy. It's tough as hell. It's slow going. And I'm working on what feels like iteration #47 of that work now which I will be talking about more in a few days. But that's not the point here.

The point is that I stepped away from relationship building. I knew that I was doing it at the time. I didn't expect that I would keep at it for a year-and-a-half.

It has effects. It's having effects. Some of them suck quite a bit.

But I'm lucky because I realize that I can do better. I realize that I can take my own damn advice and work on building relationships. Work on dropping things when people need something. Work on being present and authentic. Work on checking in with people. Work on keeping up with people.

That's not going to fix all of the stuff that sucks for me or anyone else.

But it's sure as hell going to help.

Because to get through this absolutely unprecedented transformative moment in our lives and our humanity, more than anything we need connection. We need love. We need community. We need each other.

We are a tribal species. We have evolved that way for eons.

How we connect with other humans is absolutely at the essence of who we are and how we relate to the world.

I've known that for years. Lots of people know that.

Knowing that and living that are very different things.

You can fight all the big fights you want and champion all the causes, but you also need your people. And they need you.

One of the most unexpected things for me over the last year or two is how many people I lost that I didn't expect to lose. I lost one to cancer. That sucked. But I lost a lot of others because we couldn't connect. Something in how we were relating to each other didn't work. And that's okay. Bit of a surprise when it happens at scale.

But there's something that's happened over the last few years that's been incredibly touching and empowering for me. And that's the new relationships that I have built, and the older relationships that have deepened and strengthened.

I say that because I know I'm not alone. I know I'm not alone in losing people. I know damn well I'm not alone in losing lots of people all at once. It happens. I'm hearing from many that they have been losing lots of people just over the last few weeks. Lifelong friends now gone.

And that's because of values. That's because there's something powerful that's so many have decided they want in their connections. Shared values. Ways of connecting that resonate. Respect. Respect for all humans. Love for all humans. Whatever it is.

I asked a question here the other day in a private post about where people were. A check-in. A "how is everyone doing?" Wow. I was blown away. I still need to go back and respond to so many thoughtful, deep, emotional answers.

My takeaway from it is that we are all craving connection, sanity, resonance, solidarity. So much. Stability. Clarity. I should not start naming things because the list will go on and on and on and on and on.

I think I put up that post partly because I'm so overwhelmed by so much that's going on and I wondered if I was the only one? I knew I wasn't. But yet we don't talk about this stuff. Enough.

We can though. More. We can ask each other how we're doing. We can do a check in. We can be authentic in our own answers. We can be present in our conversations.

This whole connection thing isn't super complicated. We're all wired for it. Some of us are way better than others. That's not wrong.

But connection starts with the very basic stuff. We check in with each other. We treat each other the way we would want to be treated. We have empathy. Vulnerability. Presence.

We breathe. We take a look around.

I usually try and keep swearing to a minimum on my posts but sometimes you gotta just go there. Here's the thing. There are a lot of assholes out there. A lot of angry, resentful, grouchy, and often biased assholes.

But we're in a transformative moment. We're evolving. The people who are doing the work right now and who recognize that we're evolving and that we need to do the work on the evolving are the ones who are going to define what the world looks like on the other side.

If you are sitting around griping in your little hidey-hole being miserable and holding on to an imaginary world that doesn't exist or only existed for a privileged few, you're not working on moving us forward. You're not on the team. What's going to happen is you're going to fall away. You're going to fall behind. You're going to be left behind.

And that's what's going to happen.

Those of us who are doing the work, in the game, and doing the evolving are going to make this world a more just and fair world that better serves everyone. That's just what's going to happen. It's already happening. It's happening more and more and more and more. If you haven't noticed, there's been some pressure for way more of this than what we've been doing. Seems like we ought to do something with that. It's stuff we can pick up and carry forward with us. It's stuff we can hold onto and transform as we go through this transition.

We don't have to carry it all. We don't have to carry all this crap.

We don't have to carry the grouchy mean people through either. They might need to find their own way forward. We might keep offering them a hand, and they might keep yelling and calling people names and declaring their rights and whatnot while they get left behind.

There are ways through. Not one of us is going to get through this though without a whole bunch of other people. That's how this thing works.

I've shifted some of my own priorities to do better. To connect better. To build better relationships. To be more present. To be more authentic.

This is all going to get a lot worse before it gets better. We're going to have to take turns looking out for each other. That goes better when you've got good relationships.

We are who we've got.

Be safe. Try not to get dead. And please... put some effort into it. We need good people. Whole lotta yahoos out there. We're going to need a whole lot more of the evolver types.

Light it up.

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This post was originally published on the founder's personal Facebook page here.

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