A few weeks ago, I figured out why I am making a documentary on how we view our own self-worth. I also figured out why I have, in the past year or so, become obsessed with ideas of vows of silence, primate culture, and our own cultures of hurry and guilt.
I was sitting with a friend who was having a shitty time in her life. Her new husband had broken his leg less than a month after their wedding, and he hadn’t yet been added to her insurance. It was a scary time for them, trying to arrange for financial aid, and being treated like lesser species for not having insurance. The days of frustration led to her sitting in my living room, and railing (rightly) against a system that is very broken, and very dehumanizing to many people.
When she went home that evening, I struggled with helplessness that I couldn’t make her situation better. I realized that I don’t have the financial power or political clout to make the world a better place. In all honesty, even if I had money or power, I don’t have enough education or leadership skills to make effective changes at the federal or global level.
But what I do have is an idea.
What if we all started looking at every person we see in our days as something more precious than a box that must be checked before we can be done with our day?
What if we saw a human being, deserving of as much patience and consideration as we would give to the person we love most in the world, instead of a number? Instead of an annoyance?
And most importantly, what if we looked in the mirror and saw a human being that deserved as much love and care as we would show that aforementioned person that we love most in this world?
I don’t have a lot of money or influence, but I do have an idea that if we could do that, we would treat everyone with more kindness. We’d all feel a little less alone.
A few projects are in the works for this. I’m working on the above-mentioned documentary, and I know other people who are thinking about how not seeing and being unseen affects them to work on collaborative projects.
Today, a friend of mine started her own project. She created a Facebook event calling for everyone able and willing to create a care package with scarves, gloves, blankets, snacks, etc to carry in your backpack or car to give to the many people without homes and in need this time of year. It’s called Project: Warm Hands, Warm Feet if you’d like to check it out.