Choose to Get Up

 I contemplated staying in bed today. When my husband brought me coffee (bless him) I almost rolled over and left it on the side table. Part of me wanted to cocoon in the warmth and comfort of our blankets and ignore the events of yesterday as long as I could. Yesterday was a hard day, not just for me, but for  all Americans. Or, at least, it should have been...but there is a certain levity surrounding the event that I'm finding as difficult to digest as the event itself. 

To be clear, an angry mob forced their way into the United States Capitol building in order to threaten congressional leadership and prevent the certification of a democratic election. The mob demographic is irrelevant to  me, an act of terrorism is an act of terrorism. The response to this particular mob by a lot of Americans, though, is perplexing at best. Social media reactions have been either abject horror or...wait for it...outright humor. People are laughing at this. I can't help but to wonder what public reaction would be if these were not American citizens looting congressional offices for potentially sensitive documents, hard drives, etc. How would the American public react on the whole if the capitol was raided and our leadership threatened by terrorists not of anglo-American descent? The outrage would be terrible, and demands for retribution, swift. 

Being that the crowd was homogeneously WASPish and covered head-to-toe in patriotic garb, the reaction has been altogether underwhelming for the magnitude of the offense. Videos of the mob being not just let in, but led into the building are shocking. Videos of rioters taking selfies with the very police sworn to protect the leadership of this nation have left me flabbergasted. Where were the militarized police vehicles? Where was the National Guard? Where are the shows of force that have become common-place on the nightly news? All of the security that should have been in place prior to the MAGA rally never materialized. Our government leaders, whether you agree with their policies or not, were threatened with physical violence in an effort to strong arm them into submission. The very offices they hold entitle them to the protections of our best security forces. We also can not deny the systemic racism that was once again on display as white mobs seemingly ran amok without a fraction of the force shown to minority-led peaceful protests. Catastrophic failure on all levels of security at the heart of our nation has left me feeling vulnerable and quite frankly, distressed.

Yesterday I sat in horror while watching the news...again. I ran through apocalyptic scenarios in my head... again. I cried silently while locking doors and securing the house just in case...again. I ran through what might happen should the unthinkable happen...again. I talked to my children about the disaster du jour and reassured them of our safety...again. It's therefore no surprise that I was reluctant to start the day this morning. I am weary, like so many of us, of what the day might bring.  We've been gorged on debilitating stressors and are feeling hungover as a result. 

After much internal debate, I made the decision to get up this morning. Even if the world seems to be burning around us, my home environment is still warm and welcoming. I also still have children who need the example of strength through strife and a healthy reaction to stress. I have grounded myself by turning my focus inward and knowing I can make a difference by raising my boys to be the Americans our nation needs. I am writing my outrage in an effort to be a part of the solution. Words, as we witnessed yesterday by our President, have power. I, unlike our Commander In Chief, try to use my words to (if I may borrow from Joe Biden) inspire, not incite. 

Today, I also took some time for myself and to check in with others I know are struggling to cope with the realities of our current situation. I urge you all to do the same. Take care of yourself and those that you love. Or conversely, let them take care of you. Fear and anger are the natural reaction of all those who understand the weight of our world at present. There are multiple layers of triggers and stressors compounded daily upon our shoulders. Unprecedented is certainly an apt description for the times we are living through, as much as I have come to loathe the term. But, and I can't stress this enough, we are living through these times. Each day presents us with the choice to roll over or to live. I suggest that we all choose to throw off the covers and show up. It takes extraordinary people to live through extraordinary times. Be the change you want to see, and refuse to roll over in the face of injustice.


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