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Weary of Being Human
Worry leads to weary
“I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can't be right. I need a change or something.” - J.R.R Tolkien
The thing that strikes me about this quote is not that he is wrong but that what appears to be apathy is actually complete and utter exhaustion and the fact that most of those on the planet must put every ounce of energy into staying alive.
This is what our current approach to economics looks like. We are taught to compete, judge, and believe that some are better and more deserving than others. We don’t pay living wages. We don’t make healthcare available. We prioritize money above the health of the environment.
At this point, things are so out of balance that it’s like we have two worlds existing at once. The people in power have more than enough money and the leisure and resources to indulge their ego-driven need for power and games. Many if not most of them have not been taught or practiced empathy, compassion, or respect for differences. And they certainly have not had to go without. So they have no idea (and don’t want to know) what the rest of humanity is experiencing. They are literally emotionally disabled and therefore dangerous.
Meanwhile, back at the desks and phones and tablets of most of the rest of us, we are getting dozens of emails requesting money we don’t have, urging us to care, to “do“ something - sign a petition, join a rally, listen to a podcast, repost a post, join a zoom call to learn how to organize.
It’s not that I don’t want to do these things. In fact, I DO do many of them, but frankly, I have yet to see any positive results come from signing a petition, joining a Zoom call, calling my senators, or marching. And I certainly don’t have a penny to spare since businesses and landlords - and all profit-above people organizations - have seen the pandemic as an opportunity to make MORE money and raised the cost of living dramatically.
So you see, I am not apathetic. I am appalled, disgusted, and so damn tired I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Even worse, I don’t really see a clear way to help. Do I care? Yes! But I must also find a way to keep my nose above water or I become simply another casualty. And that struggle to survive has become a full-time and more job. I must find a way to stand with Ukraine, endangered species, the victims of abuse, racism, homophobia, gun violence, those exposed to polluted water and air, the whales and turtles and fish being killed by plastics in the ocean, and the trees of the Amazon.
The truth is, I am not apathetic. I am weary and ashamed of being human.
Copyright 2022 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.