The ground is shifting beneath my feet. I no longer recognize my Country, my City, or my once flourishing neighborhood. I used to walk out of my building in the early morning and with a smile on my face and my pooch, America in tow saying out loud, “Good morning world, here we are!”
Now, the expression on my face is in a frown as I look here, there, and everywhere, wondering if we are safe. Now I am afraid to call my pooch by his name for fear someone might harm him! I have never lived in a time like this. The virus is not worrying me. The violence in my neighborhood is.
I am living in ‘Elsewhere’, where masks are part of my wardrobe, self-isolation is part of my life, storefront windows are boarded up, sirens are screaming all day and night as police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks race down our streets. My neighborhood is no longer thriving, it is dying.
No More Silent Voices
As I sit looking out the windows of my apartment high in the sky, I see a stunning cityscape of high rises as far as the eye can see; while knowing down below my city is in ruin. It is very disheartening and very scary.
My building as well as all the others in my neighborhood are on lockdown and boarded up in preparation for today’s three planned protests. It is day number 183 since I was told I must self-isolate. I confess that living through COVID-19 and watching American cities, American lives, and American history destroyed is beyond my comprehension. I am now more committed than ever to come to voice my conclusions and state them. No more pretense. No more pretending. And, no more silence.
A Story From Zoom
Every Wednesday afternoon I sponsor a Zoom friendship meet-up with women who belong to my private Facebook Group, GRANDwomen with Moxie: Where loneliness disappears. We are a 1,000+ group of women from cities across America and Countries across different ponds. Everyone is welcome.
One of the European women mentioned last Wednesday the biggest positive change in her life since the invasion of COVID was how much she was enjoying friendships with other women.
Another woman from the USA mentioned she loved talking every morning to one of her friends who always had some form of drama going on in her life. Her friend’s latest upset was with her daughter…
Her daughter had arrived home from an exciting business event. The mom drove to the airport to pick her up and was naturally excited to learn about her trip. After her daughter settled into the car she excitedly inquired how her flight was. The daughter told her, “I don’t feel like talking now.” What did the mom say? She said nothing. Instead, she spilled out her hurt and disappointment to her Zoom friend. Why did she sit silent? Why didn’t she use her voice?
Emotions Run High
This conversation hit home. I thought about emotions. And I thought about my relationship with my daughter, my daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and all my grands. Then I asked myself why at times I cannot or don’t want to be more deliberate with my thoughts. I thought about the political phrases that come out of the mouths of some of my cousins on our Zoom meet-ups and my silence when I want to roar. And I thought about my relationships with my close friends and acquaintances. I asked myself if I take the ‘flight option’ or if the phrase ‘every action has a reaction’ leads me down my chosen path. I have concluded… it is a draw. Why? Because dealing with a person is far harder than dealing with a cause.
Thoughts on Principals
I thought about my principles. I thought about cities burning and socialism versus Democracy. And, I thought of the often violent protesting by people across America and beyond. As well, I thought about antisemitism rearing its ugly head in cities across America and on most college campuses. Then I wondered why the leaders of our biggest organizations are silent and not shouting out across America, “Never Again.”
Emotion vs. Principals
It is easier to take a stand on a cause(s). Causes are not human. They don’t have feelings.
I agree it is hard to take a stand when you are dealing with your adult children, your grands, and others because it is emotional and there is a natural tendency to capitulate rather than be deliberate like the mom who picked up her daughter. Fear of reproach stops many from taking a stand. Darling, you can overcome fear when you understand fear will always stop you from starting.
Standing up for yourself shows your family, friends, business partners, and co-workers you have high self-worth. Trust me, after you take the first step you will feel more confident.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
Be an authentic and fearless woman. That means… Let go of who you think you are ‘supposed to be’ and be brave enough to be true to who you are. And, let your voice be heard.
Last week I received an email from the National Holocaust Museum inviting me to an event. I wrote the person back asking her how the Museum was confronting antisemitism across America. She responded with three links. Each link talked about separate incidents in a community. So, I wrote her back. “I think you must have misunderstood my question. I am wondering what the Museum is doing on a national level to confront antisemitism.” The next email from her was to set up a telephone call with me. And, I accepted.
Darling, be unapologetically honest. People may not agree with you but trust me, they will respect you.
Listen to your intuition. It knows.
Don’t be afraid to roar and roar loudly. And, don’t be afraid to voice your opinions to those that do not agree with you. Who knows, you may change their way of thinking.