Why? Well, honestly, my heart feels heavy. I feel frustrated. And it's making me feel like using this tiny bit of space that I occupy in the world should be better spent than throwing stories out into the wind.
As you all should know, the recent voting results in the UK have already had a dramatic impact on, if nothing else, the morale of millions of people. Yes, there is a huge economic consequence for this, but I'm not going to go into the facts. It's not the numbers that are bothering me. It's not even this vote that's bothering me. And so, if you have the time and interest to read further on, I'm going to go on a little rant that has nothing to do with books.
I do not hold UK citizenship, but it is my second home. Just ask my husband. When university was coming to an end and there was a marriage proposal hanging above me, I ran for one last adventure and had some of the happiest moments in my life with some of the greatest people I've ever met! I didn't vote, obviously. British politics aren't even often on my radar, and given how involved I am in Canadian politics (which is usually not much), it shouldn't be very surprising. My issue isn't the facts, as I said above, it's the grief. I am grieving with people whom I love and respect. I want to grieve with them BECAUSE I love and respect them. Regardless of WHAT has caused their grief, I am a human being, as they all are, and we have an obligation to hold onto one another for strength. This is the role that I want to play. This is what I believe is the right and natural thing to do.
But it isn't just the UK today. It's been everything. There has been so much to grieve in all parts of the world. And while hardships are an inevitable part of life, and while politics can take a turn for the worst, I'm finding it very hard to handle the violent emotions that have been emerging over the past few years. And what has been the major catalyst? Well folks, I happen to be related to a very avid Trump supporter. And I don't mean to get into a political battle here; if you are an adult, you have the right to vote which ever way you want. And, as a Canadian who also has no citizenship in the US, it really shouldn't seem like such a big real, especially given that this relation also has no US citizenship and can't vote anyways. So what's my issue? The issue is that people I LOVE and RESPECT (and I will repeat this a thousand times if I must) are GRIEVING. And I, because of familial obligation, have made the choice not to cut out a family member from my life due to political views. You can have your opinions, but I am sick and tired of hearing the victory cheers, or the call for blood, or for a wall, or for how it's so-and-so's own damned fault WHILE people I LOVE and RESPECT are GRIEVING. This has nothing to do with being PC. I'm not asking for you to spare our sensitive ears. I'm not trying to argue. Why? Because I've tried that, and there's just no using logic with an avid Trump supporter, especially one whose only real allegiance to the man is that his power makes him f*able. I wish I was exaggerating. But while my UK friends grieve, I'm trying to shut out the echoes of celebration. When my LGTB friends held each other in stunned silence, I was trying to shut out the "Told You So" in the background. I've gone in circles trying to fight the "Not All Muslims are Terrorist" battle, the "Transgender And DRAG Does Not Mean The Same Thing" battle, and the list goes on.
If the person who fits this description is reading this, which I doubt but, hey, you never know, they could opt to read something that's not a Facebook meme, I make no apologies. We've differed on everything. But we've gone well past a difference of opinion. And while I may not be the most politically minded person in the world, I'd like to think that I at least have an eye for human decency. So I will grieve with those who are grieving. Even if you ended up being "right" in the end, at least I know that I took a moment to think beyond myself, to think beyond fear and hate, and not just to impress a group of people who just want to feel powerful. My heart is with those who feel powerless right now. And I do NOT need to feel guilty about whichever end of the political spectrum they fall into. And I do NOT need to feel guilty for distancing myself (and my family) from someone who has clearly lost what it means to be human.
I don't know what the next crisis will be, but I do know that there will be one. I'm not going to sit around guessing what it will be or who's fault it is. I'm going to hold a hand, give a hug, and take the side of the compassionate. I choose humanity.
So now that that's out, I'm going to go work on a book, because that's what I do; in this small space of the planet that I occupy, this is what I do, this is how I connect to other humans. It may not be country-saving useful, but it's the little light that I have to shine in the darkness.