I was prepared to blog about the new J.K. Gill Building arising in downtown Portland. Yet, different thoughts bubbled up, insisting that I hold off on that one for now.
Our community has been shattered this past week. Outraged and angry as we learn details about horrible incidents that lay hidden, until now. We should be outraged. We may also be angry. We need to do everything within our power to create just, fair, respectful and safe communities here and beyond. Our community, like many, is shattered by practices of hate, worries for our future, increasing acts of bullying and incivility – becoming learned behavior of our very youngest residents. It is a difficult time and we all feel it, and struggle to move on.
Earlier this month our community lost a very loved friend. To me she was one of a couple dear friends who have most supported and encouraged my writing, also sharing a mutual love of the natural world around us. And she was kind. She did practice loving kindness. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week. My temptation – as I hear attacks and hate directed to someone I love and expressed by those outraged this week – is to shut down. My own uncomfortableness with conflict has shown up for me this week, inviting me to shy away and hide. And yet, a bold expression so frequently shared by Unity World Healing Center Reverend Victoria Etchemendy reforms in my brain. Reminding me. Do better. Love. And do right. We don’t know how much time we have left to do so, so do it now.
And so, I will continue to be kind. I will sometimes be outraged and apologize and feel empathy and share facts: but I will use whatever power I have to positively support others – not tear them down – respectfully demand justice, and move to a better future. I hope you will join me.