It’s a shock to see young white American men giving the Nazi salute and holding up swastika flags after having fought against fascist hate. It’s a shock to see them turning on our fellow citizens, physically harming their human brothers and sisters who live and breath alongside them. The problem is, we don’t really have time to be shocked at this particular moment.
How do we navigate the all normal human response of shock in this critical time? We have to admit it first, just notice it. Denying it will only lead to a festering anger, but we don’t have to pick it up and hold on to it either. If you’re an empath, or possess the trait of being Highly Sensitive, then this is a particularly difficult challenge. It can be accomplished however. Acknowledge the feeling, that’s it, then move on to action.
Action is where we can awe ourselves and each other. There’s plenty around to inspire us. Twitter is busy with people helping to identify the perpetrators of Nazi hate in Charlottesville. And while it’s disappointing that our President refuses to condemn white supremacy, there are plenty of other politicians taking up the sword of justice for him. Many gathered together yesterday to show support for those killed and injured.
Across the nation, today, we have the opportunity to show the same support, demonstrate love and acceptance, sow the seeds of kindness and peace. It’s up to each one of us, shocked as we are, to awe our neighbors and friends with positive action. And in the doing, we find that shock doesn’t have to render us paralyzed, and love can lead us to unity.