Complacency is Disillusion
The past two months have kicked my butt. The events that have transpired have shook me to my core and left me feeling dazed, confused and questioning everything. I’ve questioned the people in my life, are they genuine, are my friends really my friends, do they have my back, do they know and understand me? Are the events I am watching unfold real? Can the political banter in the United States get any worse, is the divide between political parties going to defining us forever, are the news media and social media ever going to stop playing on this divide and using it to fuel more unnecessary and counterproductive mistrust and hatred? Are we ever going to receive all the necessary information about COVID, and will the world finally start paying attention to the genocides happening against the Armenian people of Artsakh and the Uighur people in the Xinjiang region of China? There are crimes against humanity and the environment occurring every minute of every day. If you care to pay attention indigenous people across the globe are losing their sovereignty, women, men and children are being abused and denied basic human rights because of the color of their skin, their gender, the name they call God, and who they love. When you start paying attention its exhausting and yes, it feels like a serious beating. Humanity is being beat down physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It is heavy, right? I think we need to feel the weight of what is going on. Not because we need to feel depressed, angry, frustrated or hopeless. Rather, we need to feel the weight and come to the realization that we are capable of lifting this weight. Yes, it is heavy and yes, it is overwhelming. Historically, when united in purpose we have lifted a tremendous amount to get to where we are today. Our problem lies in the fact that as a collective we have chosen to stop lifting. We have become complacent and way too comfortable with accepting the world with all its wrongs because somehow within it we feel right.
We feel right because we simply stopped paying attention. We accept lies which allow us to continue on our disillusioned paths. We love the beautiful pictures painted for us. We want to believe everyone lives with their basic needs met with freedoms and rights. I am not trying to bring you down or make you feel bad for the life you live. What I am trying to do is get us, all of us to look outside of comfortable. Stop being complacent and start challenging yourself to lift heavy. Complacency weakens us and causes us to lose the fire, the fight and the incredible desire that drives the human spirit to seek out better.
When we stop believing we have the capacity to face the uncomfortable, meet it straight on, shoulders back, head up and feet firmly planted on the ground, when we no longer believe in our own strength, we lose as individuals and as a collective. We stop living from a place of humanity- compassion, empathy and kindness and we start living cut off from the world and cut off from our own aliveness. We eventually become emotionless and desensitized. Watching the news is like watching a Michael Bay film, we shrug it off and believe it’s all going to end in 90 minutes. Well, it doesn’t end. The tragic ending, the happily ever after or the hero riding into the sunset don’t come until the uncomfortable is confronted. The explosions, car chases, heartache, icebergs, lost battles and lost lives we watch play out on the big screen entertain us and sometimes inspire us because we can separate from them. They move us emotionally without us fully owning the emotion. We are detached, so we think.
We are able to disconnect and indifferently react. While watching the news, how many times have you thought or even said out loud, “this is too painful to watch?” If we choose to separate from any part of the messiness- the feelings, the emotions, the incredible pain and discomfort from being human we are detaching from ourselves. Is this a choice you are willing to make in order to live comfy? I wrote last month that if any human on this planet is suffering, we all suffer. We suffer because our humanity diminishes when we are unable to connect and empathize with the pain of another human being. So, when the news refuses to cover genocides currently occurring and irresponsibly reports lies to make you feel better about the world the weight gets heavier and humanity buried under it.
I get that no one knowingly walks straight into a disaster with their sleeves rolled up ready to go a few rounds. Our individual lives have enough mess we need to sort through. Being human, falling in and out of love, providing for ourselves and our families and holding it all together is enough to keep us busy. I get that complacency feels like a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold night or a tender embrace from a loved one after a long day. I get that Artsakh and Xinjiang are thousands of miles away and it is easy to demonstrate no regard for the human beings suffering in these regions. Trust me, if there is anyone who has a great need to check out and take a break from adulting it’s me. I don’t want to walk around with heaviness or sorrow and I certainly do not want you to carry them around either. Rather, let’s walk in our strength and ability to connect with and feel for one another. We can seek out the truth, learn about different countries and cultures, commit to acts of kindness, we can help our neighbors and better our communities and we can commit to taking care of ourselves.
Next time you start to get comfortable ask yourself if the comfort is a crutch or a space you need to experience for the moment. Ask if it is hindering your greatness. Taking a break and resting is important. Shutting down and denying your humanity and the humanity of others is defeating. Complacency is a false illusion that takes us from our dreams and denies us of our full potential. There is always work to be done. There is always room to get better and if we commit to doing this work consistently the lift is not so heavy. The gain becomes extraordinary and we are suddenly able to face discomfort like heavy weight champions. Now you, champ go out there and face the world like a protagonist well versed in being a lover and a fighter because that is what it takes to be uncomfortably human.