Headline whiplash

My Desire to Be Well Informed
David Sipress, The New Yorker, used with permission

I’m not the only one with headline whiplash – numbed by ever more shocking events. The fire in the London high-rise on the heels of the London Bridge attack.

A mentally ill citizen shot at and wounded four senators practicing for that most American pastime – a baseball game.

The Republican party planning in secret to pass a bill that takes health care away from 24 million Americans.

If you are unfamiliar with these events, it is by choice so I’ll not re-visit more of them here.

My point is that, although the world appears to have lost its mind, and our country certainly has, most people I know are sane, reasonable and law abiding but heartsick at the seemingly inescapable new lows of cruelty and ugliness.

Attending a community meeting the other night, fear made its presence known by people wanting to keep their corner of the world white and privileged.

One person objected to people coming in from the outside who “weren’t committed to the community.” Committed to the community? What does that mean? In 16 years of living here, I see people going about their business with scant community commitment but it is a comforting illusion. I’m from a small town so my version of community commitment is quite different.

I live in Chicago because I welcome diversity. Often fear has deeper pockets but I truly hope that it does not win.

Staying balanced seeing such misery in the news, here in Uptown and downtown is a challenge. I remembered Valerie Kaur’s inspiring speech in which she speculated “what if this darkness is not a tomb but a womb?”

Although it is certainly dark now, brighter days are ahead of us, but it could get even worse before it gets better. I do believe this is a womb. Valerie Kaur said to breathe and then push!

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