I don't know how to think right now. I don't know what to say. I just know how to feel. I feel sad. I feel disappointed. I feel disillusioned. I feel angry. Above all, I feel hurt. I feel deeply, passionately, hurt.
I feel hurt because I see hurt all around me, hurt of all types. And instead of that hurt being cared for, instead of it being soothed, instead of it being simply recognized in some cases, it's pushed aside or deepened by an environment of hostility, an asinine series of soundbites and "talking points", by aggression, and by more hurt.
I care for those I know who are hurting. I hurt for you, I hurt with you. But that's not enough. My "thoughts and prayers" and my "heart going out" and my hashtags and my Facebook photo filters and even my writing and posting these words right now are simply not enough to bring about any real change, any real positive impact to my surroundings, to the wider world.
I will not become involved in short sighted, or barely-informed back and forth "debates" using whatever stats were flashed across the screen when I heard about what's going on, or whatever quotes I found in an article from a publication that already shares my viewpoints and biases. I will not be caught in that spiral of negativity and bitterness. I will not do that.
Do not take these remarks as those of an idle man, however.
Just because I will not confront others in this manner, that does not mean I have disengaged. I will not ignore. I will not opt out. I am not neutral.
I must confront myself first.
I must dig deep inside myself to understand what part I play in the world around me, how I have misunderstood my own privilege, how I have added to prejudice in my own way. How I have let my own biases close me off to others? What have I thought? What have I done? What is it that I need to learn, to work at, to fight for?
I will ask myself these questions. And then, I will listen. And then, I will act.