Where Is The Love, People?

People killin' people dyin'
Children hurtin', I hear them cryin'
Could you practice what you preach?
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questioning
(Where's the love)
(Where's the love)

- The Black Eyed Peas

As I sat down to journal early this morning, this song by The Black Eyed Peas popped up on my playlist. With all that is going on in the world right now, it echoed a thought that’s been running through my head for months now:

Why are so many more people unnecessarily hurtful and cruel? Why are some people so quick to label, to talk in absolutes (“all ____”), to respond with disregard for our neighbors?

(Personal note: I DESPISE the use of absolutes.)

It’s obvious that the economy is a mess, people are getting sick and others are dealing with loss. Parents everywhere are trying to choose between the two less than perfect options of sending their kids to school in person or virtually. Some service industry workers are suffering abuse at the hands of angry customers unhappy with mandatory mask rules (over which they have no control. Other people might be facing job loss or insecurity. Still others are struggling to work remotely with family distractions abound. Lastly, social media is turning into a viper pit, depending on who is in your feed (and who you’ve muted or stopped following.)

And then there are those of us who haven’t seen a hairdresser in MONTHS. (We won’t talk about our brows, either.)

Now, more than ever, we need each other’s kindness.

It’s hard everywhere. Which, understandably, would make anyone quick to anger, but what’s going on is crazy. There’s no doubt we are all weighed down with the uncertainty of the situation.

Where is the love? Where is the sense of community? The “Love they neighbor” and “do unto others”?

The whole country needs to step back, take a deep breath.
Exhale.
Remember that we are more than our political designation, more than our stance on the virus, and that masks are not a political statement.

If that doesn’t help, we need a time out.

Myself included, and to that end, I’ve put a block on social media on my laptop for most of the workday. I also have usage restricted on my devices. I’m TRYING to scroll by the comments that make me want to scream because I know that nothing I will say will change a mind.

Note: I’m not proposing the “why can’t we all get along, because there are some seriously scary people putting out some seriously dangerous information. What I am questioning is the degree of anger and nasty that I’m seeing everywhere. You have to ask: what does that accomplish? Grandma always said “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”, after all.

And I’m reminding myself that karma IS a bitch, and what you send out into the world comes back to you, which keeps negative thoughts towards others in check.

Most of the time.

We need to support each other, care for ourselves, and for our community. Right now, people need compassion and kindness, as well as to take better care of themselves.

For me, that looks like talking with my family about where we can donate to that will make a real difference in the lives of others. It might be sending a note or making a call to someone who seems to be struggling (and keeping the talk away from politics. It might mean speaking out as an ally if the situation calls for it.

For me, it also means giving myself short escapes into books, trying to write, going on walks (and sweating like a beast in this Texas heat), or dancing in my kitchen to my Spotify playlist to escape from the frustration of the unknown (or to soothe my own feelings when I’m angry at what someone has written) before I add to the problem.

It might also be sitting in an empty parking lot screaming along with some of the punk and emo bands on my Riot Fest playlist, but that’s a story for another post.

In the meantime, enjoy the Black Eyed Peas singing “Where is the Love?”
Give yourself some love, and reach out to another who might need a little.

Socially distanced, of course.

Today’s post was inspired by this week’s prompt from Five Minute Friday, which is intended to be a free write. (More specifically, there is to be no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.)

For five minutes flat. 

Unedited. 

Since I’m a terrible rule follower and repeat offender where typos are concerned, this was very loosely edited for grammar, spelling, and punctuation after those five minutes were up.  

Five Minute Friday is a prompt for Christian writers; while I love Jesus, I swear a lot, so I don’t link up for fear of shocking those sweet ladies into next Tuesday, but if you are interested in other takes on the prompt, please go check it out. 

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