Podcast Ep. 3: A Quiet Plea for Silence
Before we destroy ourselves, here's how we might turn things around.
I don’t know what the weather’s like for you today, but for me, the Chicago area’s been cool, cloudy, drizzly, and generally quiet.
As someone who loves being out in the sun, things feel a bit somber today — though I appreciate the gentle raindrops on my windows and the peace that seems to fill the (practically) empty streets and sidewalks.
I’ve been sitting here in my living room (where I usually work these days), reviewing memoir manuscripts as I sip coffee and water, trying not to let my mind wander away from my clients’ important stories.
But today, here in the quiet, I can’t help but think of…
…ongoing racial inequity.
…threats to women’s reproductive rights.
…mental health, climate, and economic crises.
And it’s in this quiet that I finally understand what I think we’ve been doing all wrong.
I think we don’t get quiet enough.
In many ways, a quiet day like today pulls me back to those early, terrifying months of the pandemic, when uncertainty and fear loomed fierce and large … and when it felt like all we did was limp along and come together with a shared commitment of finding ways that might stop the chaos before it destroyed us first.
I don’t need to remind you that many of our efforts were messy and untested and unfamiliar and uncomfortable and unproven. Still, we tried and we sometimes failed and we always learned — and in so many ways, we found our way through.
I can’t help but wonder why we can’t seem to come together and find solutions for at least ONE of those issues above. It doesn’t just feel like we’re spinning harder and faster and closer to the edge of annhiliation. The truth is, we are.
But we’ve all become so adept at welcoming distractions and deflecting responsibility that we’ve lost sight of the deterioration all around us, impacting every aspect of humanity.
Look, I see you and I get it.
It’s hard to let ourselves get quiet.
It’s hard to tolerate the pain of knowing that these issues aren’t quick fixes…that each one will take a marathon of effort that certainly won’t end in our lifetime.
It’s so much easier to say, “What’s the point?” or “Not my problem!” or “I don’t know where to begin…” or “Others are better suited to deal with these things,” or “I’m not the one who created this mess,” or “It’s just too late.”
It’s so much easier to shame and blame others.
It’s easier to fill our days by scrolling and streaming and shouting and skimming headlines and saying, “Our leaders ought to be doing more!”
The truth is, they’re not doing what needs to be done.
It’s Up To All Of Us
At this point, who or what can possibly save us?
I think we need to get quiet. To sit with the facts. To think deeply about how bad things truly are. To stop waiting for someone to rescue us. To ask ourselves if we want things to continue this way.
And so, let the quiet wash over you now. Then, it’s time to get to work.
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