For your consideration.
The last two years have been traumatizing for many. Yes, I am still talking about this because we are no where where we need to be. Every day I see my social feeds filled with finger pointing and cartoons meant to hurt others. I see long posts about non-duality (if you care about ___then you must hate ______). I see friends and families ripped apart. I see comparison memes and quote tiles that don’t make any sense and show a lack of understanding on all sides. Before you post a meme or laugh at someone who has a different opinion than you please consider that many are suffering. Consider this….
You’ve lost your business and your house because of lockdowns and/or mandates.
You’ve been seriously v injured or know someone who has.
You are 18 and your best college years are spent in the basement in online school and you see a bleak future.
You’ve lost someone to covid.
You’re an exhausted healthcare worker or first responder.
You have an immunocompromised child.
You’re waiting for a lifesaving surgery and keep getting postponed.
You have a pre-existing condition that makes you vulnerable to the v and you’re scared to get it.
You’ve lost a child to suicide because of the never ending lockdowns.
You’re immunocompromised and scared of covid.
You’re immunocompromised and scared of the v side effects.
You had a heart attack after the regular flu shot and your doctor told you not to get this one.
You’re terrified of getting covid and will never feel comfortable taking your mask off in public places.
You don’t trust public health because of a situation in the past of being misdiagnosed, mistreated or injured.
You’re a childhood sexual abuse survivor and years of therapy have taught you to protect bodily autonomy at all costs.
I know these people. Some vehemently support public health measures and see nothing wrong with them, some are neutral and some made their way to Ottawa a few weeks ago. None of them deserve to be ridiculed. None of them are being heard in the way that they need to to heal. If we listened to these stories then maybe we would understand and maybe we could stop attacking one another. There isn’t a right side and these stories matter if we are to unite again and find solutions that actually work to heal our communities and move through this. All of them.
And imagine going through these traumatic experiences and being shunned by friends and family. Imagine waking up to see a meme that someone has posted ridiculing you while you’re in pain. Listen to peoples stories and ask questions. Know that we don’t know what we don’t know, and that it’s not up to us to judge others. The past two years have been hard on everyone. There isn’t a “good side” and a “bad side.” We are all on the same human team.
Stop Choosing Sides.
A righteous side does not exist where we are able to rejoice in or mock other peoples pain. A side where the story and pain doesn’t matter.
Let’s walk in each others shoes.
Let’s find solutions that heal that collective.
Before you post a meme or repost something someone ask yourself….does this heal or hurt the collective?
Is this below the line?
Have I walked in their shoes?
Is there something I am missing?
I have been blessed to have my perspectives radically changed. Its been an honour to work on several projects and films where I get to hear the stories from hundreds of individuals. These people are parents, children, immigrants, doctors, nurses, veterans, truckers, indigenous, black, muslim and the list goes on. They are vaccinated and unvaccinated. From the left and from the right. My eyes are wide open to the board range of human experience and the ever increasing divide because of lack of understanding.
We are missing something here. We are missing our chance to heal because we are too busy trying to be right.
And it’s no one’s fault. We have been encouraged to attack one another and we have been misled to think we need to fear one another. While we are all angry, hurt or scared on some level, we need to understand that it’s not “the other” causing our personal pain. I am grateful that my own perceptions of people and opinions have shifted and that I can see how much hurt we all have been causing.
Let’s heal the collective together.
With grace and grit,
Karla Joy Treadway