You only have to read the headlines to realize we are surrounded by vulnerability. Democratic principles are being challenged nationally and globally as strongmen governments gain traction. Our environmental clock is ticking as our planet suffers from rising temperatures and poisoned land, water and air. Someone in one country can spread a lie on social media undermining everyone’s ability to discern the truth. A virus can spread from one individual to another, one country to another creating a pandemic that causes widespread death, panic, isolation and economic hardship. We are not invincible, and neither are the societies we create.

During the pandemic I was astounded by public resistance to wearing a mask. How as an individual are you entitled to spread a virus to others, perhaps more vulnerable than yourself? It seems that we can justify our actions by dismissing the personal vulnerabilities of others and even ourselves. In fact, there is an ideology in this country of “anti-wokism” perpetuated by the belief that allowances shouldn’t be made to others, many of whom live vulnerable lives.

If we allow ourselves to deny the existence of vulnerability, then we do not have to feel emotionally vulnerable to the uncomfortable realities of the world we live in or the challenges others face. We have chosen personal comfort over compassion, but we haven’t changed reality. Democracies are still at risk, global warming is still escalating, viruses can still kill millions, and human beings are still vulnerable creatures, physically and emotionally. Could acknowledging our collective vulnerabilities give us a collective strength to face our world without blinders on? Maybe, but we’ll need to leave behind our individual sense of security to embrace the work of creating a safer world for all.

~Lisa Kiel

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2 Responses to Headlines

  1. Katrina Yurko says:

    Many times when there is political, cultural or economic unrest, the leader must create a “common enemy” that results in a common force to protect ourselves against takeover or societal demise. Each major era in history proves that . Our era, the one we are standing at the crossroads of, has so many enemies and so much anxiety that we cant see the necessary direction at the crossroads, we have too many common enemies. We are the enemy. We are the result of years and years of taking that which is not ours to take. Because of that and the fact that the problems we face are huge infrastructures that are massive and out of control. We cannot identify them as a common enemy, they are more abstract, they are mega corporations that keep us all on the grid of fear and helplessness. We don’t have inherent enemies to blame either. We are our own enemies. So how does this work? I think we are on a much better path than many countries (Russia/China) and not as good some (Denmark) (Finland). This
    is Big, but Not too big to fail !!!

  2. P Averyt says:

    Great discernment of the world’s vulnerabilities now. May compassion for the earth and each other spread all around the globe.

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