I firmly believe that change starts at home. Grassroots caring is the most nasty guerrilla warfare of our time.
I woke up to a wall of ‘Toronto Strong’ on social media, but when I looked out my window, there was not a soul on the street. Not a neighbour to be found.
Laundry and dishes and meal planning suddenly took a backseat to the CBC News Network’s coverage of the mass murder that played out yesterday on a stretch of a nearby Toronto street. Colleagues of mine watched people being mowed down on the sidewalk just outside of their office, and the rest of us watched as the scene replayed over and over on screens all afternoon.
Was it a terrorist? Was it an “involuntary celibate’ (misogynist)? How can we fortify our city against these attacks? These were the predominant questions posed by the media. But these questions merely poke at the symptoms asking for band-aid answers. They don’t come anywhere near getting at the cause of the misery that is murdering our world.
Stay Strong. That’s the overwhelming populace message choking the city today.
Let me offer another perspective; stay vulnerable. Allow your grief and fear and anger an outlet. Let your community of friends embrace you as you grieve and heal.
In a world that has become lost to the miracle of humanity, one that values material success over kindness, community, and the health of our spirit, staying strong may give a message of toughness that we just don’t need.
I concede that if it were my child or loved one callously killed, I would have a rage and hate with limitless depths. It would take a fountain of caring friends to help heal that massive dark hole in my life. We need one another, not just during times of tragedy, but every day.
Our communities have disappeared into subdivisions and condos with closed doors with invisible neighbours. We are too busy fighting a modern-day-material-survival-of-the-fittest to put the kettle on and hang out on our front porches. This is the root of the problem. We are insular and inward looking.
Reaching out and getting to know your neighbours is the first step to staying strong…as a community.