IAmNotBritish, episode twenty-two
Happy Brunch Sunday from Florida! Raise your mimosas or mugs and let's clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in your inbox. Written with a London accent in my head. Reading with an accent is completely voluntary.
Morning y'all. We have a northerner visiting who has never seen the ocean, so I'm going to zip this off before jumping some waves. I'm excited to see it anew from his eyes. To save network-news-watchers the temptation of judging me for going to play in the ocean, let me mention: cars are parked 12 feet apart, so car doors are 6 feet apart, and the wind carries the virus away. Also, I can enjoy my privileged life because I have made my donations to the ACLU, M4BL and Orlando Dream Defenders, and I've been reading books all week to try to understand something that I can never truly understand.
Whew. Too snarky? It's a challenge to focus after spewing that. I'm tempted to remove it, but I feel it so strongly.... Could I have said those sentiments in a kinder, more loving way? Probably. Will it help? Probably not.
This morning, I was thinking of my brain's interesting, (annoying,) adorable pattern of predicting what someone will say in advance. This happens in conversations with Geminis and Cancers especially.
I nod my head in agreement before they say it. I am able to flow in and out of some minds and sometimes feel what their words are trying to convey, a truly empathetic experience. Connection. Mmm.
In music, I will start singing the first two lines of the song while it is still in the opening instrumental or amping up for the second verse, and continue throughout, like the record started twenty seconds earlier in my ears.
I enjoy doing this.
Some may not notice the lines I am singing, but some (Virgos) are driven mad by it.
This "talent" of the brain becomes a challenge when completely new information attempts to enter. As hostess, I have to clean up a chair for the guest to enter and sit, make space for the new category. This takes probably a full minute, slightly less. I take a breath...and feel acceptance of the new category. I am then able to fill up the space with all the new knowledge with no problem.
Passersby would not notice.
As humans, we assume that other humans have basically similar lives, actions and thoughts to what we experience. We coast. We are horrified when this is suddenly proven wrong. Brown children in stifling hot cages unable to shower or be held by an adult? Horrifying. Natives on not-so-compassionately-spared reservations with no running water? We can't imagine that, and find ourselves thirsty, moving on.
THE QUESTION: Is everyone comfortable enough to make a space in their brain for the new and uncomfortable? Can we do it?
Agreeing to help Others, or to try to understand, requires that a space be made for them, in our brain, at our desks, in our board rooms, at the company table.
The majority of us are not allowed in those rooms. We don't belong there because money is required to make the decisions. Lots of it.
What is required of us, then, is to figure out ways to help. There are organizations that have been working for black and brown and LGBT+ people for a very long time. The way to ask them what we can do to help, is to go to their websites.
Helping is just a google away.
They will tell you what needs to be done this week. We have to get comfortable calling our local leaders, who work for us, who are paid by us. Our job is to make sure they are doing their jobs, keeping their "promises." We, collectively, have not been doing that for a long time. We watch them. We talk about them.
Today's Deep Breath: (Here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.)
Another piece of my mind is the ability to revert back to a homeostasis, a baseline of my personal life. Honestly, I forget my own little behavioral goals if I do not write them down, preferably in one spot and not on a Post-it, which will end up in The Pile of Post-its becoming the non-productive Holding Zone, until I go through them and throw them all out.
After 9-11, there were no bloody Halloween costumes for two years. Well, the second year there were a few. By year three, we were back to our normal.
I was reminded of Sanford's Trayvon Martin, back in 2012 after the shooting of a 17 year-old boy LAST MONTH in the same area, thirty minutes from my house. A day or two on the news, and he is forgotten.
The Ferguson "Unrest" in 2014... How many of our brains were still focused on that when Minnesota blew up?
Mine was not.
We do forget, unless we consciously make an effort to keep it in the front of our minds.
(What does happen is the 24-hour news chooses how they want US to remember these events. They are keeping track and making notes and then twisting it so that The Watchers remember what They want us to.
Get the facts, the bullet points, and turn it off.)
Use an index card and write down a few key things from the last weeks that you never want to be guilty of forgetting. Take a picture of it and make it your background pic on your computer. Then google and decide how you want to help.
If these were my sons, I would surely not be forgetting. Ever.
I want to stand with her.
Stand with me.
Until next time,