|Where Dragons Hide (CAI 2018)|
I don't meant to be startling.
I'm just constantly surprised that more people aren't freaking out. Like, absolutely freaking out. Or have moved beyond freaking out, into thinking about what's next, so we can talk about that like rational, freaking out, people, together.
I am certainly not that much smarter than anyone else, or at least, there are lots of people way smarter than me, walking around, not freaking out. They have access to the same information I do (or, do they?). They have minds that work and training on how to use those minds to solve various kinds of problems, essentially using the same 5 steps. So why am I freaking out, and they are telling me to stop being so startling?
I have sincerely tried to find out what they know that I don't, but the frustration of those conversations is finding out is that they choose not to believe what I know regardless of data and experiential proofs, and they don't actually know anything I don't know besides their "gut feel". It's incredibly disappointing because I was hoping they could convince me, without slogans or platitudes, using data rather than denial, that I really didn't need to worry, after all.
But it's just the opposite. Because if all these smart people are walking around, not freaking out, then they are NOT putting their great brains to use on solutions to our current reality. They are not working together, committing, communicating, and acting with other people in community to envision and create the world we want for the majority of humans who just want to enjoy this lovely planet in peace and not destroy it. They continue aiding and abetting the system that is working against us, simply by not freaking out.
And it leaves me lonely, feeling isolated, always questioning if I'm right, always seeking more information that might prove me wrong and then finding only the opposite. I feel like I have to carry all the freak-out for everyone, and also, I have to pretend I'm not freaking out so I don't freak you out and make you think that I am "unhinged" or "over the top" or "too much" or "freaking out." Calm down! you might say, thus dismissing every truth and proof I've laid bare without addressing them at all.
If you're not freaking out, maybe you can't afford it. Maybe your ego is protecting you by feeding you a view of reality that doesn't take into account giant swaths of information, in order to ensure you can feel safe and secure. Fair enough. We all seek security.
Or, maybe you're right, and we shouldn't freak out. If I shouldn't be freaking out, please tell me why, and then engage me with love and kindness on my concerns with your reasons, because I'm pretty sure I've thought about them before. If not, I will thank you with the deepest gratitude for bringing me something new to think about that might relieve my freaking out. I would like to go back to believing that people are essentially good, truth and integrity will prevail, government will provide well-being to citizens, and most people are working, every day, towards peace on earth through respect, equality and community. It's not that those things aren't true, it's just that, in the balance, they seem to be on the downward trend, eroded and worn by cynicism and video games, while mercenary mean-spiritedness seems to be on the rise at the highest levels of Power and in the streets we walk every day.
I would love to not be the girl trying to get everyone to start freaking out enough that they actually, actively, in a committed way, turn their brains to helping to solve it. I would love to just smile and enjoy life, trusting that those who seek public office have my best interests at heart, and that the people in my community intend to live in peace together. But somehow I think that we need to get to, and through, the freaking out first. So everyone who IS freaking out along with me, I think we have to freak out the people who aren't. I hate that. I'm personally afraid of the personal costs of doing that.
So I share what I see and I say what I observe and I hope that the people who are smarter than me, more connected than me, more resourceful and with more energy than me, will pick up the torch and raise the Freak-Out flag and get us moving towards the world we want to build. We are each one connection point on the circuit board, we send the energy on. Maybe. And the chance, for me, is enough to justify the action. Because inaction feels impossible when you're freaking out.
*oh, and for people not freaking out, please read these two pieces and then help me feel better about the worst parts, or counter with really important work being done elsewhere. Thanks.