Wow. We Americans have sure been through some tough times in these last few months. Just as things felt like they were starting to get back to “normal” we have yet another black man dying at the hands of a white police officer, with 3 officers watching and doing nothing, and the resultant protests and riots. It’s enough to put anyone over the edge.
I am no psychologist but I know a bit about psychology and so I understand the feelings of helplessness. Many people were already feeling sad, worried, depressed or anxious, and now this. It is enough to cause anyone to feel angry and want to do something. Most people find a way to turn these feelings into positive protestations, learning, volunteering or donating. But a small minority lash out, and that is what we are seeing.
While it is easy to get angry it is always smart to take a step back first and breathe deeply, rather than react. Ponder what your actions will do. If you hurt someone or damage property, how are you any better than those committing the violence you are protesting? It is circular and there will be no positive resolution.
If you are feeling helpless there are things you can do, so don’t despair. You can find organizations where people protest peacefully, and find out how to participate. If you do not want to go out in crowds you can donate money or commit to learning about anti-racism so that you can teach your children and spread the word.
I read a beautifully articulated post on Facebook this morning, and the author shared this link, which is filled with excellent suggestions for those wanting to make a difference:
No matter which way you decide to help make a difference, please make one. It is not until we all learn to love each other that we will be equal, and it is not until you make a difference that making one will become contagious. Blessings to you all.