Visiting an elderly client yesterday, I was only gently inquisitive about his worries. We have never argued, and have only discussed politics in a skimming fashion, just enough to inform me that we have differences. He was wracked by anxiety, and when I asked why, he said like everyone he was terrified by the insurrection at the Capitol in DC. He was swirling with worry about what it would all mean and where it might lead. He was very perturbed that someone might assassinate the president. I have to admit, I had not sensed more threat than usual for assassination. I thought there was a more imminent chance of excessive golfing.
Regardless of who you support or who you think participated in the break-in, we have finally arrived at one thing we can all agree on: breaking windows and killing people in a glorified office building is not okay.
I’m relieved, actually. I was beginning to think that only an alien invasion was going to unite our factions. While I know there are folks that believe that is imminent, too, I am not hopeful that Klingons are going to get here in time to unite us.
Before we veer off into motivations, implications and justifications, I think it’s important to hang out in the area where we all agree. This is not okay. This is not normal. This is fear and hate running its course.
It’s not rocket surgery, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Before we posture about consequences and penalties, I think we need to find a way to meet the perpetrators with compassion. Some of them need to go to jail, but not all of them. Some of them are undoubtedly hurt and mortified, and mainly just need to clean up after themselves.
While you are them-ing about all this, you may maintain that you would never get swept up in a mob, but how do you know?
Do you think all the participants munched on their breakfasts thinking about how they were going to stampede guards who work for them? Sure, some of them did, some of them were ready to skewer some norms and disturb some piles of forms. Everybody has animosity for forms, after all. Maybe a few participants were keen on murder too, because naturally, at any time there are a few murdery folks in the mix.
Where do you fall in this continuum? Are you only gullible when you’re high? How do you know? Maybe check in with your smart friends on that one.
Because we’re human, we all have had times when we’ve been influenced by curiosity or group-think or fashion or worse. We all can be swept up in fear. We can be swayed.
If you’ve ever worn bell-bottoms or truly stupid white shoes, you know I’m right about this.
If you are not actively fortifying yourself with truth and love and helpfulness, you are ever-more vulnerable. Someone or something else can steer you–and worse, utilize you.
Let’s be united, not utilized.
My client was very concerned about being resuscitated. He doesn’t want to be brought back to suffer. If we find him unresponsive, he said, do not resuscitate. He pointed to his DNR order, and sternly told me he did not want me to forget about his NPR. I reminded him that I don’t even do CPR, but he said none-the-less, I must respect his DNC and leave him be.
We knew what we were talking about, even if the details were scrambled. RIP not DNR. OK.
I recommended meditation and he agreed; meditation and prayer are always helpful.
He said, God always wins and I found that more reassuring than a Xanax.
We don’t have to fix it all, just try not to break too much, be kind, and mind the NPR.
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