There are no coincidences. There are perfect storms. We are living in a tsunami blizzard. Concepts I am struck with.
The 2020 frankenstorm has tested the world and tested the United States to the ultimate end of our patience and native intelligence. In many cases, individual human nature has taken over common sense, sense of community and sense of humanity. The combinations of our location of upbringing, our family belief systems, our religious teachings/involvement, our peers, our education, our political leanings, our financial circumstances and more, have collectively weathered our tolerance and pushed us to confront our personal endurance PLUS, what we may feel, is the lack of rationality of others.
We can handle those who see things as we do, but our individual human nature is being tested and our tolerance is at wits-end with those who aren’t in agreement with our vision of how things should be.
Like my baby boomer peers, we lived through the Viet Nam War, we saw the marches, the protesters, the division in our country. We knew people who were drafted, we knew people who fled our boarders to avoid the draft, we knew people who died. We had to reconcile our personal values at that time.
As a young, naive Los Angeles girl, I was at San Francisco State when Vietnam protestors marched and stopped traffic on the Bay Bridge in spring of 1965. I had never experienced anything like that, I had never seen that there was such power in numbers.
Until now. Our country does have days of unrest in our historical past, but I feel that today’s divisions have widened the fission even more by pitting neighbor against neighbor, community against community, and more heartbreaking to my soul, family members against family members. (It’s happened to me.) But how could black and white issues (excuse the pun) of common sense and humanity come between us in 2020? Have we not learned from our past?
I had never realized that our democracy was STILL a test! And yet, the ugly head of our differences has risen to the tallest of flag poles and we are confronted with what America really is about and what contributes to our best and worst qualities.
So why do I say there are no coincidences?
Because, I believe, everything happens for a reason.
And why do I say there are perfect storms?
Because, I believe, the universe/Mother Nature has more power than we realize and we are being sent messages that we are ignoring so we are getting stomach punches to wake us up! We need to be WOKE!
Do these two concepts work in concert with each other or do they oppose each other? Are they random aspects or are they alive and well challenging us to do the work that has been in front of us but we have been too afraid/lazy to confront the signs and accept that maybe change is necessary?
The definition of, “There are no coincidences,” explains that, “Though events may appear to have a random/by-chance nature, with no causal relationship, in fact, they do.”
We have to go beyond what is in front of us, pick out patterns that connect the dots to events, glean the results, then dig deep to understand what may have always been forefront, and appears in this time and place, to be more urgent to make us feel outraged enough to create a call-for-action and make change.
To define “A perfect storm,” says that, “Rare combinations of circumstances drastically aggravates an event that creates an unusual phenomena.” In other words, visualize a perfect storm as a series of occurrences that crash together and result in an unexpected blast of shock.
The tsunami we are experiencing is a combination of the current people in the White House, the pandemic Corona virus and the realization that we have not acknowledged that we have accepted and lived with racial injustice for over two hundred years. (As Jews, with our historical past, we should have never accepted/been complacent about racial injustice in America. We’ve needed to be more outraged.)
When the current president took office, someone very close to me, and note, we both vehemently opposed his views, said, “Maybe with his presidency, something good will come of it.” I was shocked at the remark and asked for an explanation, which was, “Maybe we have been too complacent with too many issues and it’s possible that the unrest that surely will be front and center to the American public and will be daily Breaking News, will compel us to break with past attitudes and we will be forced to transform old mindsets. Either that, or we fail what America is all about.”
I didn’t know my son was a psychic.
So I do believe this is why this man was chosen to be president at this time: Only to oversee the Corona Virus while Black people are being killed in our city’s streets. His views/actions have tested our complacency:
-We have allowed our common sense to judge others who disagree with our views/morals!
-But we could agree to disagree to save relationships and learn from each other.
-We have allowed our common sense to become political!
-But why does wearing a mask imply you’re of one political party or another?
-We have allowed our common sense to march in protest during a pandemic!
-But our common sense is outraged at citizens of different skin colors being treated in unacceptable ways.
It is NO coincidence that this perfect storm is testing our common sense: Should we wear masks or not?
It is NO coincidence that this perfect storm is testing our sense of community: Is it OK to go to large gatherings?
It is NO coincidence that this perfect storm is testing our sense of humanity: Is it OK to ignore the truths of how Black people have been treated in the United States?
I am personally outraged when I take a walk and see people without masks. I cannot understand the selfish attitude of, “I don’t have to, the First Amendment protects me.” Where is your common sense in protecting others and how your decisions have consequences upon others?
I am personally outraged at the gatherings of bars, beaches, Mount Rushmore, the fourth of July. “I won’t get it! Jesus will protect me.” Where is your sense of community to protect your neighbors, their children, our seniors?
I am personally outraged that this country still sees, “The Others.” Where is your sense of humanity? We are all humans, we all share the same planet, why are we all not accepted as equal humans? This is 2020!
The perfect storm of 2020 has revealed uncomfortable truths while opening up cans of worms that has allowed politicians to take a pass on unacceptable behaviors of other leaders, has shown us that a virus is chasing us and we are not trying to catch it as best as we could, has unveiled that we have ignored history while putting some of our founding fathers on pedestals where they did not belong and sent wrong messages.
And most importantly; “We the People” has lost its power because we don’t hold dear enough the common sense we were given, the sense of community that should be our responsibility to nurture and maintain and the sense of humanity which is something to value.
So far, during this perfect storm in 2020, in the middle of this gigantic test of how we set examples for our next generations, too many Americans have failed doing what’s right for the good of all and that affects the entire makeup of this country. Most people know right from wrong but why are those who are too self-involved not able to see that we can turn things around that will allow people to go back to work, to allow children to go back to school and to allow all of us to live in a country, in communities that chip in during the hard times for the good of all. Isn’t this what we all want?
Where is the common sense that unites instead of divides? Agree to disagree, it’s OK!
As I always plead: Talk with your children and grandkids about what is happening in the world today, tell them how you feel, what your beliefs are, ask their opinions, listen to what they have to say, value their views, acknowledge their thoughts even if you disagree. Let this time in history be part of your legacy to the next generations. Give them insight on how to use their common sense so they can look back at 2020 and remember voices of experience.
We are all being tested. Most Americans are passing these extraordinary unthinkable tests. By agreeing to disagree, we can have valuable dialogues to help educate each other so we can have a better report card. It is a matter of life and death. In more ways than we can count.
As a Baby Boomer Bubbe who still feels 18 but has four grand kids to prove this is the 21 Century, Sandra writes to leave a legacy for the next generations. Her belief that these precious kids need to know their cultural and family’s past in order for them to live their future is all the muse she needs!
She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Cross Cultural studies, has written a family history, personal memoir and is completing her first novel.
Her grandmother’s journey to America and life is her source for her deep belief and love for Judaism.