These are the times in which we live.
Times we did not choose, but rather chose us. Escalated into existence by yesterday’s choices, chosen by those who lobbied for them. Owned them. Because majority did not rule. Money did. And sadly, today’s tragedy will again become tomorrow’s cataclysmic cash cow despite the ratings won, ribbons worn and rallies walked.
The marketing machines and partisan platforms will wedge into our wounds opening wider the divide along with our wallets as we dole out dollars not in charity but fear. Despairing over our destiny, where we long for the dread of days gone by. Buying in and selling out as we stockpile solutions to never be seen, you know, until it happens again.
And heads will talk and channels flip
And we’ll scroll and like and share.
And we’ll emote with emojis because we care
And offer our thoughts and prayers.
Calamity will be commoditized and our mourning monetized as we secure for ourselves that which signals our solidarity and sympathies. Our hearts will bleed for victims, but very little of that blood will actually be deposited into banks.
And we’ll celebrate the assailant by repeating evil’s name. Invoking it over and over as we boil down the beloved to a tasteless tally boldly emblazoned across the bottom of our screens. Crassly comparing collateral. And we’ll jump to conclusions rather than the defense of others. And demand answers over change.
We’ll stare at our phones in disbelief, in the middle of our writing rants, as texts trickle in that our very loved ones are on lockdown from reports of an active shooter. (Yes, in all truthfulness, this happened.) Then rejoice in grateful relief that no one was injured and then catch ourselves as our hearts sink knowing that there are those elsewhere who did not receive this same news today.
And we’ll hug our own and give thanks and say, “But for the grace of God go I.” Fully forgetting that God’s grace is with those who are suffering as well. We did nothing to earn ours over theirs. Our goodness did not give us immunity.
Nor does our self-perceived goodness give any of us the go ahead to parcel out platitudes to those in gut-wrenching grief, drawing focus to our feelings because after all, we were affected in some way too weren’t we?
Because these are the times in which we live. Right now.
But tomorrow has not come. Yet. Though it appears to promise to do so. And it is not set into certainty that it will go exactly this way…again. Forever on a looping cycle of cynicism over the tragedies of todays like this today.
These are the times in which we live. And though we did not choose them, they chose us. And we choose what we do in them. And if and how tomorrow will be any different.
Because time measures change. And these times, they are a changin’. Exactly how, is our choice.