This past week I felt my anxiety levels reaching climatic levels far beyond my control. External factors surged my emotions into a frenzy of which I began to question if I would ever swing the pendulum back to centre.
I’m not an American. I don’t have the right to Vote. But I am first and foremost a human being. A citizen of humanity. For the last four years, (not coincidental as both my public and private domains took a turn in 2016), I witnessed humanity being challenged to its very core. The ideologies I use to live by were all being called into question. Some were a welcome change, some were uncomfortable to swallow. Hope was not something in my vocabulary as I watched shit unfold one by one. It was a downward spiral with no upwards momentum in sight.
What should and was speculated to be a landslide victory for kindness was a-last not the case. What we witnessed was the overwhelming acceptance of selfishness, bigotry, xenophobia, brutality, racism, arrogance, white supremacy, ego, greed, emotional & verbal abuse, degradation, separation and divide. Nearly half the population think this is ok. What has become of humanity? This is not fucking ok! Human decency, respect, inclusion, patience, emotional support, togetherness, empathy, understanding, support, sense of community, simple acts of kindness, love and positivity are all but gone.
I have spent the last four years actively trying to weed out the negativity. Trying to re-establish a new platform for being and define what it means to be a citizen of humanity. It reminds me of the eulogy I gave four years ago. What I subconsciously realised at the time and am now fully aware of, I’ve always had a role model who lived a life of kindness. I just wasn’t ready to see it and now more than ever, the events of the past week has raised my awareness to new heights and I can fully see now the simple teachings my dad has instilled in me. In a weird and wonderful way it was the best birthday present from my dad. A restoration in faith. A glimmer of hope for the humanity my father adopted. A reminder there is still hope.
In my eulogy I spoke of my dad attending his own funeral, sitting at the back of the church wondering what all the fuss was about. He was always unassuming, wanting to fade away and let others step forward and shine. He was the one who would always let others go first or take a seat first. He lived a life of kindness. It’s that simple. Be kind. Be mindful. Be thoughtful. Be generous. Embrace others for who they are. Respect others for who they have become. Welcome others for their differences. Respect others for their nuances. Love yourself for your failures.
You would be lucky if you were half the man my dad was. Anyone would be. Myself included.