Last night I took my oldest daughter to see a local production of West Side Story. There between the Sharks and the Jets, we watched racial lines be drawn on the stage. As three characters lost their lives to gang violence, I knew my daughter was waiting for the Disney happy ending she’s come to expect. It was not coming. I knew this, of course, and within minutes, that reality sunk in for her as well. It was a somber lesson for her; not all stories get a happy ending.
That lesson is hitting a little too close to home this week.
I am not a political blogger. Or a human rights blogger. Or an activist.
But I am left brokenhearted and deeply unsettled by the events unfolding in our world today that follow this very same story, one in which hate begets hate.
We are at war with ourselves. We are breaking into factions and taking sides and spewing vitriol at one another like it’s our God given right.
What are we doing??? Do we even know anymore??
The only stance seems to be, “I’m against them.”
Would any of us say we stand for violence? For oppression? For degradation? For hatred?
Or are those just the only tools we’ve learned how to use to soothe our pain?
Those are tools of destruction.
We need new tools.
We need tools of construction.
We need to build something better. We need to make something new.
Make an argument.
Make a case.
Make a change.
Make an impact.
Build a foundation.
Build a bridge.
Build a legacy.
Build a future.
We need makers and builders who can and will craft a better tomorrow and walk us forward into it.
If everyone who is on the internet or in the streets ranting and raging could instead channel that energy into building the world they want to live in, one personal action at a time, what might be possible?
So tell me, what are you for?
What can we build?
What will we make?