I find myself crying more these days; I’m more sensitive. And I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ve become more kind over the years, maybe I know love and never want to be without it, maybe I’m more aware. Maybe all of that and more.
In the past, when I learned of a terrible event I would acknowledge it’s terribleness, maybe get a little mad or annoyed and then I would move on. Now, there is a physical pain in my heart, a tightening, a lump in my throat, and usually tears. I can usually refrain from bawling and making a scene in public, put there are always those few tears.
At the Rose Parade, a B-2 Stealth Bomber kicked off the annual event with a flyover. Everyone around me ooooed and ahhhed and I started to tear up. While I do believe it impressive that the United States would have such a sophisticated aircraft, the first thing that came to mind were the countless people who have died because of the B-2. The children that have died because of the force this aircraft brings. I saw faces. In my mind, I saw the faces of children. Even now, writing this, the familiar tightening of my chest returns. The B-2 is awful, dreadful. It’s menacing. By design, I’m sure. To me, it looks like evil.
During the parade, a Mexican band from Veracruz encouraged the waving of Mexican flags by the many Mexicans in the crowd. They were so proud of this handsome and talented band, every reason to be smiling. I was wiping away tears. All I could think of were the immigrant families that suffer in America. The families that are split up, the people that die trying to find a better life. I was reminded of the terrible racism that still exists and the immigrants that are victim to it. I think about the aged Hispanic men still working hard labor jobs to support their families and become furious because I would hate to see my grandfather in that situation. Unless he had wanted to, I would have never let him work that hard in his old age. But these aged, respected, responsible men have limited choices. And that makes my heart hurt.
It is in these moments and many others I don’t mention that I find myself feeling so sad. There’s a hurt in my heart, because this world is so mean. The most beautiful things in our lives are threatened by really awful things. Really terrible things.
I thank goodness I met Reverend Allan Boesak and when I’m overcome by this sadness, I remember what he told me about helping suffering people, “Do it for one. And if you can, you do it for another.” Sometimes this doesn’t feel like enough, but it does help.