I’m sure that a lot of readers can relate, but the older I get – and I’m turning 29 this fall – the more I feel like there’s so much I don’t know about the world around me.
It’s a very humbling feeling, and when it comes to learning about things like wildlife and new music, it can evoke a fun sense of wonder. But this past Saturday, I simply felt dumbfounded.
I wasn’t shocked that the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia would lead to a riot and countless injured. And by now, I’m not surprised to hear hateful remarks and to see any form of political upheaval. But was has me baffled is the fact that no matter how far we’ve advanced in other areas of human existence, we can’t seem to genuinely coexist.
If I had children, I wonder if I’d find the “right” words to say to them, because even as an adult, I’ve had this naïve idea that the future wouldn’t pan out this way. I feel the responsibility to be a good example and stick to tolerance and discussion, but I know that those factors aren’t enough to maintain and promote peace on a larger scale.
The morning of Saturday’s riot, I was enjoying the markets in both El Paso and Juarez – a stark juxtaposition next to what was happening in Charlottesville. My view that morning was a practically cloudless sky, beautiful old buildings, vibrantly colored aguas frescas and smiling faces from all walks of life.
Right now, I don’t have answers or solutions. But while I try to figure things out, I can count my blessings and be grateful for the tolerant and kind people that surround me every day. While it’s important to stay informed and think critically, it’s equally important to acknowledge the lotus in the mud.