Friday, January 12, 2018

We've Lost Our Way

I am so tired of "systems." So tired of bureaucracy, protocols, and guidelines. Tired of "procedure" superseding common decency.

When the leader of a country can speak openly about other human beings and their homes in vulgar terms and dismiss an entire population with "shithole," never suffering a consequence worse than outrage in print, we've gone too far.

When four security guards can wheel a sick, unclothed patient out in to the freezing weather of Baltimore and dump her off without a thought, we are broken.

When a state can, without any research or due diligence, simply begin requiring its Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits, our systems have taken over our humanity.

I wish I knew what it was going to take to bring it back. I want to live in a place where the systems and protocols are secondary. Where we check in with each other, where we feel comfortable saying, "Hmm, I know that is what the paperwork says we're supposed to do, but this doesn't feel right."

I don't want to live in a place where one person in a room is horrified that the president speaks of Haitians with disdain and disgust instead of ALL of the people in that room being horrified. I don't want to live in a place where the narrative becomes about politics and not humans. I don't want to listen to reasons why this is strategic (to keep us from thinking about the corruption investigation) or unimportant "in the grand scheme of things." I want to be in a place where someone speaks ill of others or decides to deposit a woman on the sidewalk in winter without clothes on and EVERYONE around them remembers that we are talking about fellow humans, sentient beings, not people of color or poor people or some other "class" or "group" of people.

We are all sentient beings.
We all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
We are more important than protocols or guidelines or rules or budgets.

We are not illegal.
We are not lazy.
We are not addicts or millennials or Democrats or Republicans or liberals or ...

We are human beings who have different strengths and needs and stories and dreams. And the systems were put into place in order to help us, but the systems have taken over, become a means to manipulate the human beings they were supposed to serve.

Anyone who can watch this video and shrug, not see a fellow person in need of help and feel absolutely sick that she was treated this way has lost their humanity and needs to go back and find it, STAT.

Anyone who can laugh at or dismiss Drumpf's callous, hateful remarks in a meeting of fellow leaders of this country as unimportant is missing the point. The only job our government has is to serve its people, and when the focus becomes maintaining the status quo or disparaging the people it is supposed to serve, the government has become part of the problem.

Do me a favor and really look at every person you see today. Take a second and remind yourself that regardless of their circumstances or their appearance or their heritage, they are first and foremost, human, and they deserve your respect. It seems so elemental, but it is so vital. If we are ever to swing the needle back to a place of peace, we have to reaffirm each others' humanity and stop pandering to the systems that keep us from really seeing each other. Please.

7 comments:

Birdie said...

Perfectly said.

Bohemian said...

Beautifully written... and I am in complete Agreement with every Word!

Chris Gilliland said...

Beautifully stated Kari and horrifyingly sad that words like these NEED to be said. We have extended past crisis level of inhumanity.

Dee said...

Dear Kario, thank you for saying what so many of us--I hope most of us--are feeling. I can remember that when I was growing up in the late 1930s and the 40s, Boys Town and Father Flanagan were important to the whole country and it's image was of a young boy carrying another on his back. The words that went with the image were, "He ain't heaving, Father, he's my brother."

And that was what I was taught: that we were brothers and sisters. we were all One and we showed that by caring for one another. The one sitting next to us in the classroom and the stranger we met on the streetcar.

We seem to have last that and the present administration is kicking such a notion out the door! Peace.

Carrie Link said...

Yes.

Babylon Sisters said...

Love this - thank you so much!

Sheryl Wiser said...

Wow. Thank you.

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