So yesterday was "the best day of my life!" for my son (one of many, in fact, to hear him tell it). But this one was pretty special. The studio where we both do kung fu had a "spring boutique" over the weekend, and I lugged a bunch of my Urban Yogini books over there to sell. I asked my son if he wanted to come with me, and he kind of reluctantly did. A little girl next to us was drawing portraits of people for a dollar, and my son decided he wanted to draw too, so he ran home and got some paper and colored pencils and brought them back. He started drawing pictures, and then started taking them around to people asking if they wanted them. A couple of people said they didn't want the ones he had done, but asked if he could draw something else for them. So he drew a dog for one person, another creature for someone else... he didn't ask for any money, but two of the people came over and gave him a dollar for the pictures. I don't think I've ever seen him so happy. Not because of the money, but because he had created something that people appreciated and valued. He's making plans now for their next boutique at Christmas time. (Yes, this is one of his drawings.)
This isn't a piece of news, but rather an observation about the news, and about sharing information: I used to frequently post stories about people being killed or abused by police or other government agents. I don't do that as much anymore, and I realized yesterday that there's actually a good reason not to. I realized that all of those stories, and all of our outrage about them, has just become a part of the landscape. Just as our outrage about the fact that we have to worry about school shootings has become part of what is "normal" now. And I think all of our posts and outrage about these things can just become wallpaper. I don't mean that we should be silent about it, or that we shouldn't be aware of what's going on, and help make others aware. Just that the more we fill the conversational space with these stories, the more we also help to normalize them, and to desensitize people to them. They just become part of what is expected.
So what's the solution? What is a better thing to do? I'm not sure, other than maybe share these stories in a different way, one that breaks through the wallpaper, gets people to see what's going on with fresh eyes. That, and offer up actual solutions, actions people can take to put a stop to what has become the norm.