When is the appropriate time to resume our usual display of vanity? To fawn over our own faces and bodies and invite the sight of ourselves to other people’s living rooms, or join them on their commute?
When could we resume talking about the weather? Or the stray gray hairs that can take up much needed mental space, as they signal loss and change, and almost always take us by surprise?
That time is now. It has always been that way. We were never robbed of it. To the trivial side of things, if we’re lucky, we will forever be entitled. It’s the easiest to get, after all.
The world never stopped being in pain, though. Struggling. Fighting. However much we might want to blur that, by narrowing our perspectives until we manage to only see our own, the work is out there, still to be done.
We can take breaks, we can rest, but we still need to be up and at it. Put our backs and minds to it.
Performative activism and apologies and silence was never what social progress was about; no one was asked to drown themselves in obscurity as a sign of participation and engagement in fighting the plagues of humanity-and to assume that they were only breeds more sorrow.
We were asked to live and let live, though, and be aware of doing so by our verifiable actions, not by words and photos, so that we could help build a sustainable environment where no one would have to live in fear anymore.
When the real threat has passed, or rather, when we have developed the tools to keep it under a safe degree of control, what else will hold us back from creating a reality we enjoy living? To craft a healthy, sustainable, inclusive, wide perception of our role in our world and its role in ours? A reality that we will be happy, even proud, to look back on?
How else will we stand in our own way?
Maybe we won’t. Maybe there are ways we can find to not do that again. Maybe we will commit to positive change, individually and collectively-because this world is not just one of full bellies and roofs over safe heads. It is one that needs faster, stronger, conscious efforts of lifting those around us out of pain, poverty and the dark. We could each take our turn at living in either of those, or in all of it. We might be going through it right now, whether we know it or not.
So by all means, enjoy the sight of yourself and your surroundings during your time on this wonderful planet- because if you do, you are in luck. It’s a space that some call home because it makes them feel safe, and others call it so because that’s the only word they can assign to it.
Change that, if you can and will commit to it, as it’s a cause worth living for, working for, indefinitely.
Or don’t. But then, please don’t be offended by those who do.