I hyphenated Each-Other on purpose, because as I typed the title to this post, I real-eye-z’ed (meaning saw with my real eyes, not the eyes of ego ) that this is not just about supporting women (as I had originally thought…I wanted to write about sisterhood), this is about every Other Being we encounter in our lives (even the ones who make us want to vomit, maybe, even them).
The world is hurting.
Everywhere I look (and I don’t watch the news, or read papers…but how can we escape what is finally being broadcast after decades of being quietly ignored, shame on us for looking away) people are hurting and angry and scared. And they should be. We should be. Things are grossly wrong in this country, aside from the serious lack of ethics in our politicians (it seems smarmier to me this time, as the vitriol and toxicity are at an all-time high), we are being faced (again? finally? why can’t we give this issue the awareness and time it deserves?) with serious problems of racism and a third wave of feminism. People are sick of being treated as “less than” and (white people are) scared of unknowingly perpetuating these issues.
This post really isn’t about the problems. It is not about racism or sexism or politics.
I would rather focus on the small actions I (and maybe you) can take every day, to start knitting the world back together.
“We are all just walking each other home” – Alan Watts
So, how do we “walk” together?
Here is what I am doing:
I am holding doors open for people, people of all colors, and women (I want to hug each woman, each woman wearing a headscarf or rocking beautiful dreadlocks. I want to whisper, We are in this together, Sister. I don’t, because I know how arrogant and condescending that would be…a white woman telling a woman of a different color that Everything Will Be Ok doesn’t work right now. But oh, how my heart aches to connect and whisper and hold hands.)
I am telling women they are beautiful when I see them on the street. I am nice about it. I smile. I gently say, “You are amazing. The world needs you.” It is tough at first. It gets easier. The more we stand for love, the stronger the courage-muscle gets.
I make eye contact and smile. Or, I nod my head in greeting. I am a white woman who wraps her head in scarves; people wonder if this makes me a cancer-warrior, a terrorist, or a monk (p.s. I am none of these things). I get looked at, a lot. I greet looks of wary confusion with an open heart: I beg to be asked why I cover. I will answer compassionately. I will remember that not everyone will understand or accept my answers.
I am good to children. I grin, and make silly faces. I say Hi, shyly. I let them know that women who cover their heads are nice and not monsters. At least, I hope that’s what happens. It’s just a seed to plant in a young mind learning the world.
I speak up when I see something happening that is not OK. I use my white privilege to help others. I stopped being silent when I saw things. I stopped just witnessing things, because the guilt afterwards weighed on me ever so much more than a moment of embarrassment might while I fumble to step in and support someone. It’s not huge things. It’s Facebook comments; it’s asking people to re-think the joke they just told. Small moments of pursuing justice.
These little actions don’t even happen every day, but they are how I walk through the world right now. My arms are open, ready to catch someone falling.
And I hope, that when I am having a rough day, that a kind woman stops me to remind me:
the world needs you
We are all precious. Each life, a universe. Let us start to see the magnificence of Others, and to live in the awareness of That.
Until the next,