I read a very thoughtful and timely New York Times opinion piece last week. Regular contributor, Charles M. Blow, wrote a piece entitled, “Our Collective, Violent PTSD.”
While Blow’s piece began by reflecting upon the growing societal impact and trauma caused by gun-related violence, he also reflected upon the ways in which the pandemic has marked and changed us individually as well as collectively. And perhaps most importantly, he suggested ways in which we might move forward and begin the long process of healing so badly needed by each of us. Blow writes,
We have to find a way to collectively deal with what happened to our country during this pandemic, something beyond stimulus checks and infrastructure bills. To do that, we have to acknowledge this trauma and work through the soft power of congregation, sharing and listening.
This is not a Congress initiative necessarily. This is a kitchen table initiative. This requires neighbor-to-neighbor outreach, communities communing. This requires some dish towel diplomacy: standing in kitchens over a cup of coffee and confessing to how hard this all has been and being seen, truly seen, by the person doing the hearing.
I think Blow is on to something both very important and yet often forgotten. We need more and more “kitchen table initiatives,” “neighbor-to-neighbor outreach, “dishtowel diplomacy,” and especially “being seen, truly seen, by the person doing the hearing” in the weeks and months ahead. We need to get together, be together, laugh and even cry together, and listen together in order to move forward happily and wholly, not to mention holy!