I’ve had enough of thoughts + prayers. I want to see empathy in action.

6 Oct 2017 culture + art

Why must something happen to us in order for us to begin to give a damn? How is it possible that we cannot seem to take anyone else’s suffering into consideration – even when we haven’t been affected? Where is the fucking empathy? Why aren’t people able to step out of themselves, see another person, understand that they are struggling, and offer a bit of compassion?

From hurricanes to refugees to gun shot victims + their families to simply how we talk to each other. I’m sick of it.

I’m tired of the self-absorbed disease that runs rampant these days. The idea that we are all wrapped up in things that don’t matter. Power. Money. Prestige. Owning guns. Our own suffering. We’re so focused on what is happening to us at any given moment, that we rarely look up from our phone screens to look in the eyes of another person.

I mean, seriously, just because we have electricity + running water + haven’t lost everything in a hurricane doesn’t mean everyone is in the same boat. Just because we’ve never lost someone in a mass shooting doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about stopping the madness. How is it possible that some people care more about moving up the ladder, gaining notoriety, and getting money than fighting for justice and equality? How is it possible that people can just turn away, or say that they deserved what happened to them, or care more about their rights to tote a gun around than care about setting limits on who can purchase them? How does someone sleep at night knowing that they are making plans based on how much money than can make + just screw all of the people who don’t even have a place to fucking sleep at night? How is that freaking possible?

We see beggars as lumps of people that are just dirty, pathetic, mooching people who are sucking up our tax money. How often to we look at the woman playing her accordion outside the train station every day? How often do we look in her eyes and give her a little smile. We don’t have to dig into our pockets to scrounge out change if we don’t want to. A simple smile just might brighten her day. At least in that moment she knows that she’s been seen + recognized as a fellow human.

We also avoid people who seem to be a bad mood, instead of sitting down to really engage in conversation about their lives. Perhaps they are dealing with a bunch of shit at home + bring their frustration to work, which causes them to spread negativity everywhere. Have we ever really considered or cared what others are experiencing in the rest of their lives? Have we ever really asked?

“i love you” in swedish on this building

Sometimes we do care, though. We do say, “I’m thinking about you.” I did just that today. We say, “You’re in my prayers. I am so sorry to hear that you’re going through that. Oh, no. That must be so tough. I’ll send you good vibes.” We say all of these things all the time. And, inside us, we really mean it.

And, true, there may be nothing we can do to help a person fix whatever they are going through. We cannot save anyone. That’s true.

But, dammit. I’m tired that being an excuse. I’m tired of saying what a good person “should” say in any given difficult situation to someone else. It all just feels empty. Just a way to make ourselves feel better, so we can pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves that we are good people. And then move on with our safe, self-focused lives.

Well, I call bullshit.

Are thoughts + prayers really the best that we can do? Is that all that we can muster? Empty words that don’t change a damn thing. Because, real thoughts + prayers lead to action. I do not pray or meditate or do yoga simply to feel good. Or to ask God to grant my wishes. If’ I’m doing that, then I’ve got it all wrong. No, I do these things, I offer my prayers + thoughts + in order to become something. In order to inspire my life so that I might be used for something.

Now, none of us may be able to make the pain go away for someone else, but we can be there for them. Over and over again. And, if not for them, then we can do something else for someone else.

So, yes it is so good to offer up our thoughts + prayers. It really is. I deeply believe that. But, we cannot stop there. We must not stop there. We must get up off our mats and our knees and out from behind our pews and mosques and closed doors and get some shit done. We’ve gotta make a change. Because, if not us, then who? And if not now, then when?

xoxo. liz.

“Stone”

Your father came and went like the ocean’s tide
And the day he left he never said goodbye
Your mother started drinking like the whole world died
You’ve been waiting for a miracle all your lifeCause if the fires don’t burn it down
The rains will wash it away
If you’re looking for solid ground
A stone will never breakSo give me all your pain
And love will set you free
Give me all your shame
Put all your weight on me
And I’ll be the stone that you need me to beYou spend your nights looking at the stars
Thinking your life would be better on Mars
Checking your pulse just to feel it beat
Looking for a stone to keep the peaceGive me all your pain
And love will set you free
Give me all your shame
Put all your weight on me
And I’ll be the stone that you need me to beCause if the fires don’t burn it down
The rains will wash it away
And if you’re looking for solid ground
A stone will never break

So give me all your pain
And love will set you free
Give me all your shame
Put all your weight on me
Give me all your pain
And love will set you free
Give me all your shame
Put all your weight on me
And I’ll be the stone that you need me to be
And I’ll be the stone that you need me to be

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liz

liz

slow living. photography. craft beer. spirituality. moon + stars. bare feet. road trips. mexican food. blankets. the ocean. journals. coffee. airplanes. forests. meditation. eating out. cacti. playlists. family time. zola the cat. lina, my love.

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