A Cry for Change

A Cry for Change

In the midst of all of the political, natural disaster, straight up bizarre sequence of events, we sometimes begin to see more clearly. What really matters [*cough* it's not politics *cough*]. 

One evening, not unlike most nights, I sat on the patio with the family that I’m staying with in the Dominican Republic. We usually watch the news, a movie, have a snack, a drink and talk about whatever may be going on at the time. 

Since I’ve been here, the news has been 24/7 coverage of the hurricane-I mean hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey was just hitting when I got here, and since then, there’s been Irma, which we were afraid was going to directly hit us, Jose, Katia, and an earthquake in Mexico. 

“Isn’t it interesting how hurricanes, or tsunamis start,” I said. “I mean, obviously they start via warm water, but it’s fascinating how they grow into such a large thing that’s potentially life-threatening.”

“It shows how dependent things are on one another.”

The mother I’m staying with gave the example of deforestation in Haiti. The lack of trees is now causing mudslides. 

Everything is connected. Mother nature shows us when things aren’t right. 

I don’t want to get political, but let’s face it - everything is. 

We as humans, are ego-centric. Because we don’t know if there’s life on other planets, or if there’s truly a God, or if we’re just the speck on someone’s thumb in some far-existing galaxy, we tend to think we’re the only ones, and that there’s nothing else out there. Our actions don’t have consequences because after us, there’s nothing else. 

We avoid science because we don’t want to change our habits of overconsumption and our contribution to global warming. Even for those of us who do believe in science, we’re not perfect and sometimes take the easy way out. I do. Even when forced to think how it will effect our children or grandchildren one day, we still don’t change our ways. 

There’s the left and there’s the right. There’s the environmentalists and those that don’t think humans effect the environment, period. Not all liberals are environmentalists and not all conservatives are anti-global warming. But - our current political system has made issues so black and white. 

“I’m pro [fill in political issue] therefore I am solely a [fill in political party] despite the fact that I don’t agree with that party’s [fill in literally anything else]. 

We need to get on the same page that humans are not indestructible. 

We need to make decisions for ourselves and not based on solely one issue or solely one political party. 

Not all liberals are [fill in the blank] and not all conservatives are [fill in the blank]. 

We need to stop with the labels. 

We need to do what is morally right. Environmentally right. 

We need to avoid equality and strive for justice. 

We need to have humility and get off our goddamn high-horses - both the left and right - and unite in the middle. 

Fuck the labels. 

During one of the (many) newscasting a reporter said something to the effect of, “you can rebuild a house, but you can’t rebuild your life.” He was referring to the need for people to seek shelter and safety for their families in the midst of the natural disasters because, well, you can rebuild your house or get new material items, but you can’t rebuild the loss of life or opportunity. 

Our Lady of Altagracia is the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. The mother I’m staying with spoke about how many Dominicans pray to this saint and, often, events change in their favor. Many are relaxed when it comes hurricanes because they pray and often the storm passes or changes route. We experienced this with Irma. 

Humans are not indestructible, but when we unite as one - we may be enough. Enough to change things, reverse (some of) our actions, be at peace with nature. 

Shared humanity. Shared prayer. Shared humility. 

That’s what we need. 

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