30 March 2014

Don't panic

At this moment, one of the communities in which I have an investment is going through a wrenching conversation on the internet about some awful news. Long-unspoken troubles are being voiced, old wounds are being re-opened, and hard questions are being asked, and there's anger and pain all around.

Commenting on it, Crystal Blanton made a plea for patience and compassion that any community would do well to remember when the internet firestorm comes.

I have seen people acting out their pain, and their past, all over the internet after this news came out. We see this all the time in other ways, I was just really hoping not to see it in the […] community. I know that we are a microcosm of the macro society that we live in, but I was hoping we would be able to bypass some of the pain that we project outward when we are holding so much pain inside.

I find that when incidents like this happen in society it can be a catalyst to tear one another apart, or a bridge that we use in order to learn. The reality is that we need to to work through the pain and challenges so that we can build a future that works for us all. The […] community is no different than the struggles within the macro of society, and the work required takes just as much time and effort to effect change.

After coming home the other day, I wrote a facebook status about things I feel it is important for us to remember while we are going through this road from shock to healing, and then to action. I will re-post what I wrote, in hopes that it is something that will help us all in these moments.

“So…. while we are all dealing with this whole crazy stuff that we were alerted to today, I want to ask for a couple things from all my […] folk. At least to consider.

  • Let us be gentle with each other. We are not the enemy here….
  • When people are in a state of shock, we don’t always process things clearly in the moment.
  • When people feel betrayed, the response is often anger or sadness coupled with anger.
  • Those closest to said person […] are going through their own process to reconcile who they thought they knew and what they are being told. This is a hard process, and sometimes can sound like being an apologist…. but isn’t exactly.
  • Let’s be careful not to assume anyone is an apologist…. this shit is confusing.
  • Many, many, many people are triggered by this. When we are triggered, we often react instead of respond.
  • So many people are hurt when things like this happen. Varying degrees of hurt…. and all hurt is important.
  • Mudslinging covers up what is underneath. This isn’t the time to mud-sling… this is a time to be gentle with one another.
  • We all miscommunicate, speak before thinking, react before filtering sometimes. It is a chance to be understanding and to be understood.
  • Community counts when the shit hits the fan, not just when it is all roses.
  • We don’t all have to think the same…. it is not a reason to bring in the machete.
  • Did I mention to be gentle with each other?

Holding space for all the grieving, triggering, confusion, and chaos might make it workable for us to recover. We just have to learn to be present in the hardest of times, when we are all trying to make sense of things that do not make sense. We all deserve the chance to do that.

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