“Progress is inevitable” is a saying that I have relied on heavily recently. I remember someone saying that history will always (eventually) learn from it’s past & move forward BUT there will always be a backlash and there will always be resistance to change.
We, my friends, are in a backlash.
The news is tough right now. It’s got me so sad and so angry and wanting to do something but then feeling over-whelmed by it all.
When feeling overwhelmed I remind myself: This is a backlash, Progress is inevitable. This a backlash. Progress is inevitable. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. I need to remind myself of this ALL. THE. TIME. That way I don’t feel like we are heading into the apocalypse where we are all going to be doing some celebrity apprentice version of the hunger games.
I also try to remind myself that we have come a long way in a short time. Women’s rights, gay rights, have all made giant strides. We had our first African American president. Gay people can get married. Things have moved forward a pretty awesome & rapid pace.
Of course, this backlash is is not all new. Even in high school I had a friend who argued that even though what Hitler did was “not cool” I should still have respect for him & his rise to power. He also stated he “did a lot for Germany” or some b.s.. I’ve heard versions of this my whole life. It’s obviously insanity. I do not have to have respect for someone who murdered children, broke up millions of families and did unimaginable damage to human kind. Power does not equate respect. What you do with your power does.
Evil people, narcissist people can and will rise to power. History has shown us this over and over gain. Narcissist people always interview the best. They can sell themselves the better then anybody but when the narcissistic needledick becomes your new hire and starts shifting blame to everyone else and talking for hours in pointless meetings you realize: maybe this was a mistake.
I also understand that there is a basic human need for everybody to feel like they belong somewhere. To feel connected and part of something bigger then themselves.
A lot of poor, white, people feel like they don’t have that. There’s a feeling of being over-looked, left out, not represented. I am sorry for that. It’s easy to blame Muslims, blacks, immigrants or woman: we took what was yours. Black lives matter but what about your lives. I see the frustration.
People also do not want to feel like a failure. If you can’t feed your kids or work at a dead end job. It’s easier to say: It’s not my fault, it was taken from me. Given to someone who looks different than me. To direct that anger anywhere but yourself. But here’s the thing: it’s not your fault and it’s not their fault. That’s the truth.
So when I see people who feel this way, people I love, going down this spiral of hate and blame I want say this: Don’t get angry: get motivated. Make changes. You will try and fail and try and succeed but the outcomes don’t matter as much as the trying. The hope and the chances you take and that you are living your dream and your truth. Also, know that it is VERY hard to break out of your social class. The American dream is basically a fairy tale. It can happen but it’s hard. Harder then anyone wants to tell you. That’s the danger: The American dream turns people into angry people. The idea that you were promised a better life and you don’t have it because someone else took it. But nothing was promised to you and nothing was taken from you. You were sold a fairy tale.
Give up the fairy tale. Make changes. Let go of anger. Stop living in your head where you are a constant victim. It doesn’t serve anyone. You have one life and it should be a happy one. If your constantly looking for reasons why it’s not: your going to find them. But if your looking for reasons why your life is beautiful: you will find them.
So as much as I despise it: this backlash has started & apathy is not an option. Let’s fight with love and empathy but also with grit and tenacity and the knowledge that we are not going back. We fought too hard and too long to let that happen.
As the great Martin Luther King said, “This is not about black or white. This is about right and wrong.” We will not move backwards. We will prove that in the end love will still win.
It just took a detour.