I went quiet and got angry.
Last summer, I got to be a part of this amazing volunteer mission with 109 world. A group of people, from all over the world, came together to donate time, manual labor, and money in support of a refugee camp in Greece.
It's one of those real-life experiences that I'll never forget.
And one of the hardest things about it, was sharing it with others.
People didn't want to hear it.
Before heading off to Greece, I would talk about my upcoming trip and how I was excited and nervous. I'd share amongst friends and family. I'd share about it in my yoga classes. On social media. Etc.
It was met with: "That's so dangerous! What if you don't come back? You better be careful! You are so brave. I couldn't do something like that..."
The social media posts wouldn't receive much attention. Which is typical (and sadly, expected) when you talk about humanity issues.
People turn away from pain. We all do, at times.
People turn away from certain pain. Like, big scale human and global issues pain.
People are so afraid. They're so afraid of each other. They're afraid of skin color and culture. They're afraid of other languages and traditions. They're afraid of travel and experience. They're afraid of what they don't know or understand.
They're afraid of being wrong and afraid of what's right.
They're afraid. They're afraid. They're afraid.
And much of that fear is because people are so plugged into the sameness, as a deeming quality of right. It's not. You're the same; just because you look, talk, and act alike doesn't mean you are what's right and that your views of the world are just.
You're also plugged in to a television box of lies and fear.
I learned a lot on this trip. I'll talk more about what it was like at the refugee camp another time.
I had intended to go there in this email, but it's made me realize I've been angry. Because I've been quiet.
I went quiet. Almost mute on this subject because it was too painful for me to hear people dismiss this experience. Or want to argue the political bullshit of not involving ourselves. Or hearing people say how those people don't need to flee their countries. Or tell me that the work we did was for show. Or that we left people worse-off. Or how I could leave my own son and do something so dangerous.
To all of you that said things like that above: fuck you and fuck off.
Some of the people that said those things are my own blood.
I got angry. I still am.
Because I made myself go quiet on something I care about.
You know when you really care about something and then other people shit on it?
It's like that.
I'm realizing how I've let others incur their fear-based opinions and exhaust my standing ground care (and they won, for a time).
Which is not helpful.
And I think if we are to help others, we've got to be ready to take on the fight on such jabs.
It takes muscle and numbers.
I felt alone in this fight.
I'm not saying that people need to go to a refugee camp.
Or put your hands to work on a farm across the world.
It starts with care.
It can be a social media post (this is one way we can spread word on causes faster than one event).
(I want people to care less about getting the next stupid yoga pose, collecting likes and followings, and sharing the latest detox teas. There are people with huge followings that say they don't want to lose followers by sharing something real or a cause. BARF!
I know damn well that if I perform a yoga pose or a video of me hair flipping and rolling on the wood floor in the name of yoga on social media, it'll get more likes and bullshit "ooohhs" and "ahhhs" comments than me sharing real-life honest shit)
Hence, my anger.
Back to things we can do:
Organize a drive. Donate money to a grassroots organization. Volunteer your time (locally or globally). Have hard conversations, without letting people shut you down.
Note: If you're being shut down, especially in abrasive ways, stop spending time with people that refuse to see outside of themselves.
One of the things I learned in Greece, from Do Your Part, is that money is the number one way that we can help. Find grassroots organizations (this is hugely important). Grassroots are people that are on the ground for a cause. Do a little research, before you send a dollar somewhere.
Writing this out, makes me feel less angry somehow.
Every action matters, there's no such thing as too small.
Maybe because it feels like I am actually doing something and out in the open again.
It's a start, anyway.
PS - the ability to take care of yourself, is an action that matters.