In the Absence of Privilege

Every morning, I want to wake up to a world that recognizes the connection we have with one another.

I want us to celebrate the kind of love each of us has to give. I want us to remember that the truth of who we are is what connects us, not how we look.

I want us to free fall into the unknown of each and every day–secure in our vulnerability, curious in our courage.

It is foolishness, my wishing, but it is deeper than that, darker I’m afraid. It is a luxury to be able to wish, an exclusive privilege.lake-ella-fountain-0115

What of the wishes of those in Aleppo? Basic, if they wish at all anymore.

There is not sufficient food, water, or shelter for children, much less their families—” a meltdown of humanity.”

I want to hide behind the Gordian knot of issues that led to Aleppo.

Empathy is insufficient, woefully so, and yet another illustration of my privilege.

Amidst the rubble of Aleppo, a teacher of English tweets to the world, “there is no freedom” in what may be his final message. He is weary, resigned, yet it is still of freedom that he writes.

Freedom is all or nothing; no one excluded. No one. It is a basic human right.

And just what is it that I can do for Aleppo? Put down my shield of privilege and practice tonglen—the giving and taking, sending and receiving of compassion. Open myself to fear, to hopelessness—the chaos that is the world.

Vulnerability is how I own my fear, eschewing blame, excuses, and reasons to walk away. That moment of mindfulness is connection, discovery of ways to aid Aleppo.

Tonglen leads us to what hopelessness hides; it eases the ache in our heart. Tonglen pulls together tendrils of the ever-expanding web that knows no weaver.

We respond to fear not on its terms but on ours. We have only our kind of love to give but illuminating truth absents fear.

We are Aleppo.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

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