Words we’ve been hearing a lot lately.
You are pro-lion, but not pro-life!
You fight for women, but not for babies!
You fight for babies, but not for women!
You care about animals, but not about humans!
Who are you to care?
We pick a side, stand firmly on it, and then we point and shout to the others…the ones who are over there.
We do it primarily through comments online - because it’s easier to point and shout over there from behind the safety of our computer screen.
Sometimes, we do it in person – we judge, we make assumptions, we create stories about what it must be like to be the other and to be over there, caring about that, but not this.
It’s a dangerous game we play, creating further division over the topics that have already divided us.
As if tragedy and heartache and violence and isolation weren’t enough on their own, we perpetuate the violence and isolation through our words, through our comments, through our stories, and through our assumptions.
We love to spend the weeks following these tragedies sharing all the reasons why they are wrong. Why the other is confused and ignorant and downright stupid for caring.
But here’s the thing. We’re getting it wrong. Very wrong.
Because they don’t really exist.
It’s not their world, it’s not yours, and it’s not mine.
We live it in together.
With the lions and the babies and the women and the men and the children and with each other.
With all of our human brothers and sisters and with nature and with animals and with each other.
We create this world, together, through our words and our actions and the choices we make each day.
And whether the topic is lions or babies or women or men or black lives or white lives or all lives, shouldn’t we care about all of these things, because together, we are all part of this world? The one that we create and live in together?
So, the next time we find ourselves on a side, pointing over there, asking “who are you to care?” let us instead ask, “who are we not to?”
Helen Keller said, “We may have found a cure for most evils; but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings.”
Let’s create the remedy.
The remedy that comes from saying, “Yes, I care. And while you and I may disagree on some specific details, I’m so happy that you care too. Let us together create a world of less apathy and of more positive change. Let us together create a world where we all have permission to care.”