I'm not ok, and I don't think you are either
It didn’t come up once during the workday yesterday. Sure, it was all over the news and social media, but my personal conversations stayed strictly within the confines of work. What are the point of these team check-ins if we’re not going to check in on the things that matter? How can we hope to see a day when mass shootings aren’t common if we continue refusing to hold space to reflect on each and every one?
If that sounds exhausting, good, because yesterday was a national tragedy. Just ten days after the last national tragedy. Business, and I mean this quite literally, cannot go on as usual. We can’t keep going to work and leaving our humanity outside. We’ve tried our best and we’re all worse for it. We’ve tried working through a public health emergency, sometimes literally from our sickbed. We’ve tried organizing and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion mandates only to see the age-old power dynamics return. We’ve tried to pretend it’s going to be OK, but it’s not. Not until we admit that the priority should be reckoning with the evil in our midst.
Because for so long, it’s felt like the only way to make it to the next day is to refuse to process the latest devastating headline, that if we stop swimming, we’ll surely drown. Yesterday, though, the news got to me and I forced myself to sit with it. I’m not a parent, but no one should have to be anything other than human to feel the anguish of those families. It pierced the callus that’s hardened shooting after shooting, and I’m glad it did because if we keep refusing to feel these events we’ll never stop them. Given the state of our country and our democracy, it might not matter as far as policy, but insomuch as we’re a nation of people as well as laws, I still believe in the power of helping one another and the strength in numbers should we all just to feel.
But we have to be vulnerable and powerful at the same time. We have to step outside the numbness that’s been a balm in the past. We have to say enough. For the kids. For the future.
We have to be able to say I’m not ok, and I don’t think you are either.