It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the American news media, as the country has grappled with clash after clash between police and citizens. It was made all the more tangible when the violence got very close to home as a shooting happened in Dallas. My social media feeds have been stuffed full of emotional rallying on every imaginable side. It’s been disappointing to see it being such a polarizing moment, and I have struggled to understand how people could not sympathize with the victims and their families.
After the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile (which are only the two most recent murders added to a long string of unnecessary deaths already), it seems clear that the US has a problem with some police officers using fatal force where it is not needed, particularly in incidents with black people. If you find yourself resisting this truth, I would invite you to ask yourself why.
Perhaps you feel the work police officers do is valiant and just and an incredibly important protection for our communities. Perhaps you appreciate the sacrifices they make to keep our communities safe and want to protect them in return. I think it’s entirely possible to feel this way and to thank good cops for good work and also recognize that there are some police officers using fatal force where it is not needed, that incidents of such are primarily happening to black people, and that we all deserve policing reforms that mean we all feel safe in our communities, not just some of us.
Reform does not mean disrespecting or punishing police officers. The problem is not police officers. Police officers are just people. The problem is not people, but the system in which the people are working.
I urge you to check out Campaign Zero and the reforms they suggest.
And if after thinking about it again and checking out the Campaign Zero reforms, you still feel like we don’t need police reform, I invite you to email me and talk about it. I am genuinely curious about what you feel are the advantages of proceeding as we have been and the disadvantages of making change.
This weekend my things finally arrived from London. Among the 30 or so boxes was my bed, my bicycles, my artwork, and my art supplies. What a sight for sore eyes! I couldn’t believe how happy it made me to reconnect with my belongings. It was like Christmas unwrapping each item from its box. “Which item will this be?” I wondered, delighted. “Ahh it’s this thing!” and all the lovely, warm feelings of familiarity washed over me.
Some bittersweet memories too, as some things reminded me of things I was really sad to leave in London. There were little bits of paperwork and other nuisances that made me cringe and reminded me of a life I was happy to leave, but for the most part, my items brought me a lot of joy. It is particularly great to have all my art supplies back and all my art work, which I have hung up around my house. The sewing machine went to the repair shop today (the bobbin winding function is not working, much to my dismay), but as soon as it’s back… watch out!
I also cannot contain my excitement at having my bikes back. Unfortunately, it’s supposed to rain every day this week, so I don’t think there’s a commute in my future this week, but I’m looking forward to it soon.
It was so nice to set up my bed and put my sheets on it. And that first sleep – ahhhhh. So good to have a real bed back. It’s funny how we take these little pleasures of life for granted. And then you get them back and it feels so luxurious.
I have to say though, all this delighting in earthly possessions has made me wonder if I am more of a consumer than I thought I was. I’m surprised I am so attached to things, but indeed as I have filled up my new place over the last few weeks and now that I have all my things from London, I can’t help but feel more comfortable and at home. How is it that things can do this?
I’ve always thought buying a lot of stuff is kind of toxic – bad for the planet and just unnecessary. But now that I am so happy to back with my things, I find it an interesting paradox. Maybe I just want to advocate for buying good stuff?
Isn’t it funny how we resist doing things we know are good for us? Why do we do this?
Sometimes, I resist trying something new even though I know I will enjoy it and it will do me good. Why is growing and doing new things so hard?
This week, I’ve been struggling to adapt my routine to accommodate a new yoga practice, deemed “homework” by the tantric yoga workshop I am currently doing. It’s a simple breathing exercise and a few rounds of sun salutations which should take 15 minutes max. And yet today is the first day I’ve been able to make myself do it.
It was pretty intense. I got very lightheaded. It will be interesting to try it again tomorrow!