A lot of what is going on in the world and our country right now leaves me feeling drained and really unable to engage with it in a direct way, and sometimes it can be hard to deal with just the responsibilities and events in my private life. Sitting in a spectator's seat on the side and watching horrible things happen hurts my spirit, but the way that people can come together to support those affected gives me hope.
Many drastic things are happening one after another, and we need to use our sense of compassion to support those that are targeted. While we do this, we cannot take our eyes off of the people pulling the strings in this macabre puppet show. They are constantly using spectacle like the ban on travel from 7 middle eastern countries enacted this weekend to do things like removing the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a permanent member of the National Security Council and replace that member's permanent position with the head of online hate peddler Buttbart.
You don't need to constantly be on the front lines; there are plenty of people that watch for the movements in the shadows cast by much larger, chaotic actions. The clarity that these historians, researchers, and journalists bring to current events is making these people much easier to find for yourself all the time. First we must come together with compassion, but then we must hold those who act in bad faith to account for their gambit.
Look deep into the national values we were taught in sing-song rhymes during grade school and ask yourself what we can do to account for the complexities of the world without doing exactly the opposite of what we have been taught as "self evident truths".
There will be many who want to shout at you when you run counter to their viewpoint by doing good, and that's OK. We don't each need to individually be everybody's friend. They're still our neighbors, our coworkers, or professional angry people on the internet - and we don't need to hate them. We also don't need to give equivalent weight to an viewpoint that argues against compassion and standing up for the values that we as a nation grew from those ideas. I guarantee you that a Nazi isn't up at night worried that someone called him nasty named or how he is going to appeal to people attending a women's rights rally.
Don't get duped by the smoke screen, respond to institutionalized hatred with radical and disruptive compassion, and remember to take care of yourself even as we feel as if the world is being turned upside down. The next little bit is going to be rough, but we can do this.