This has been a devastating week, and I am devastated. It would be wise for me to avoid making political statements in public forums because of my work as a quasi-journalist (I say quasi because I don’t make videos for media; I make videos for mission-driven organizations). But it’s hard to convince my professional self-interest to override my personal need to acknowledge the absolute horror of the current situation, before going back to my comparatively inane subject matter of language learning and travel loving. And also, it offends me to think about what happened on Tuesday as strictly political, as though the survival of the planet and the protection and equality of marginalized groups is a question of politics rather than one of fundamental humanity.
Anyway, I will say this and then attempt to shut up about it (only on this blog, not in my personal life): humanity got us into this mess, and humanity will now have to get us out of it. The tragedy of the human condition is that we’re constantly repeating our history and digging our own graves while convinced we’re acting in our own best interest. But the beauty is that, as a species at least, we have a huge capacity for hope, community, solidarity, inspiration, creativity, resilience, organization, mobilization, and resistance, even in the darkest of times. I am going to draw upon all of those things in the coming days and months, because God knows if I don’t, I’ll succumb to absolute and utter despair not to mention fail in my responsibility as a human being in the family of man.
Actually, just one last thing. This week has been a wake-up call for me. I’ve realized that I repeatedly acknowledge my various forms of privilege as a “Not it!” of sorts, a substitute – often though not always – for doing the much harder work of dismantling it. It’s not that I’m all talk and no action; it’s just that I don’t do nearly enough.
I’m pretty good at keeping promises to myself, as this blog attests. So this week I promised myself to do more, much more, than I am currently doing. I’m still working out what doing more will look like but I know it’ll be a four-pronged approach: education/listening, time/volunteering, money/donating, and activism/policy and legislation.
Okaaaaay…. Now for your weekend links! As though this week was all just a bad Kafka dream and you can trouble yourself with anything other than how the fuck (as Aaron Sorkin said, there is a time for this kind of language and it’s now) to mitigate the damage:
My Latina friend’s dad wore this awesome (af) hat on election day. As soon as I sufficiently master French I’m going to reward myself with one.
On the wellness vacation.
Almost a billion people have traveled abroad so far this year, and other interesting statistics on global tourism.
Colorful map depicts what languages New Yorkers speak at home.