USA Fourth of July is almost here. Patriotism means different things to different people—maybe more so this year with the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement and some resistance to it.
In our home, we will all be wearing black—instead of red, white, and blue—on July Fourth in solidarity for ending systemic racism. The flag is not working for all people and so we want to elevate it. Therefore, this year year we shall not wave it.
Also, first responders across the nation are asking citizens not to shoot off fireworks because people will get injured and need already-exhausted first responders. Please note that most fireworks injuries are sustained by children, so please keep kids safe and away from fireworks.
We selfishly want to propose that people not light fireworks because they trigger our PTSD. Also, many pet owners do not appreciate random fireworks at all hours.
If you like fireworks, can you watch them on TV or YouTube with your favorite soundtrack?
Public pressure is building against the NFL’s Washington, DC, team nickname. We don’t say their name in our house. Soon, maybe people can say a new name.
Of course, changing names and removing monuments does not change how people think and feel. So we have much work to do in building connection and peace.
We can see how, if you’re not offended by the name, you might not be moved to action. If you’re not offended by the team’s nickname, would you be willing to think of a name that would offend you personally. Now, imagine that was the team’s name. That is how offended people feel: they feel marginalized and powerless and disconnected and mocked.
Empathy allows us to share humanity. We can support people whose voices don’t get heard. They need the majority to stand up for them. We sent letters to politicians to help indigenous people access clean water in our state. This is how we try to make a difference. Even if it costs days’ worth of energy.
This week, we emailed a dozen local organizations whose web sites list a crisis phone number (suicide hotline) that has been closed for more than two years. We copied and pasted the same email asking them to update the listing in order to protect people in crisis. Two of the organizations have responded that they changed the listing. This is how we make a difference.
Our new medication is increasing our SI, so we told Spouse. We will monitor it and get help if it gets out of control. For now, we will try to survive and still add some meaning to our life. We will try not to be ashamed of these facts. This is our life. This is what we can do with it. It is enough to be vulnerable in order to help ourself and others.
We wish you all peace and love.