Tonight I am on a fashion panel.
As the United States of America faces a civil crisis, I am headed out to talk fashion. My attentions after today go to my kids, my work, and school starting, and maybe even my upcoming birthday. The kids both start school within the next week and they want their hair done (by me), they want clean clothes (me again) …they just want their mom.
I know a lot of women like me who go about their daily lives in Austin (or wherever) and they will say flatly, “I don’t watch the news.” But in today’s climate, how can you not? With the civil unrest we are currently facing and the emboldened Nazi / white supremacists, with shootings rampant in our country, is it ok to not pay attention? To ignore that these people, the white supremacists, find the death of hero Heather Heyer justified? Is it ok to keep our eyes closed?
No. It’s not. But it is ok to find love, joy, and peace in our daily lives. We can watch the news and stand up for justice and peace and what is right, and still post that our children are off to a first day of school. We don’t have to bury our heads in the sand or feel blue that we are enjoying things about life. Yes, the news is horribly upsetting, but we are all a part of this world, whether we want to be or not.
Life always seems to contain a certain amount of grief and difficulty. And, too, laughter. Joy. Fun. Loving those around you is of utmost importance. Laughter is important, even when it’s after you’ve cried together. Daily life is not frivolous. It is important to our mental well-being. Live it. We cannot let the enormity of the situation paralyze us with fear, because then we become complicit (and, probably, depressed).
And yet, we have to take the time to stay conscious of what is happening in our world and in our culture. As Elie Wiesel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
What are you doing to take action? Social media action may get a bad rap sometimes, but it totally counts. Don’t live in fear of what your cousins or old classmates might think of you; rather, live in fear of regretting not standing up for where your moral compass leads you. There will always be people who will pick on you because of this. Always. But we cannot allow that to hold us back.
I didn’t really have time to write this today, yet here I sit. I felt compelled, because I couldn’t not do something. And after I post this, I will make lunches, and I will go to “Meet the Teachers” day, and yes, later, I will sit on a panel and laugh and talk about the fall 2017 trends. I will also know that I did something. Just, something. Something that might matter, in the smallest way. And those small things can add up.
We can, as humans, live to promote compassion, empathy, love, beauty, honor, equality, and peace. So ignore the fear, and go give a thumbs-up to that post that spoke to you. Then share it. Or write your own post. Share how you’ve been affected. Or go online and find an upcoming protest in your area. Start small, or go big, it doesn’t matter. Speak out, and know you’re trying. And then keep your hair appointment, too. It’s ok.