Now more than ever you should do two things: (1) Show more grace in your daily activities and engagements with others (and yourself); and (2) Arm yourself.
A lot is happening and all at once. Its difficult to do regular shit let alone things that require effort. It can be more than stressful. It can be a struggle to accomplish simple tasks some days. If you are on a limited income, struggling to make ends meet, dealing with medical complications, managing your family affairs, experiencing trauma or PTSD of any sort, then you need grace. You need the occasional act of kindness and gesture of goodwill to keep you sane. Folks around us make mistakes, behave badly and sometimes, even purposefully, mistreat us. In those moments with all that is happening around us and to us, offer forgiveness and grace when and where possible.
Sidebar: You can’t build a system on racism and genocide and expect it to last forever. Universe don’t work that way.
The bad news: Shit is going to get worse. On a macro level, we are living in a collapsing empire. What that means is every luxury, perk, living standard we may have taken for granted is going to increasingly become harder to come by. That’s what happens when your nation or government is unable or unwilling to remedy the basic needs of its citizens. Our living standards are declining, far more rapidly for many of us than we are prepared to accept or even understand, It is what it is. (I hate that phrase. But it is accurate for this moment.)
This is not a passing phase. This is the new normal. Hate to be the bearer of bad news. The new normal is increasing decline, degradation, desperation and destruction. The brakes on this ride are out. The only thing you can do is take your foot off the gas as you steer pass obstacles as much as possible. In other words: Breathe. Seek peace or at least peaceful moments. Try to make your engagements more humane. Technology will not stop what is happening – its actually the steep hill we are currently speeding down toward our inevitable collision.
This is the most important act. Being kind. Be kinder to people you encounter even when they’re not. They’re scared. Angry. Desperate. And cannot comprehend why the world is caving in on them. In some cases, they are not sane. So they will do things like have loud phone conversations in public spaces. Listen to inappropriate videos or songs. Disregard your presence or space in line. Fail to hear you or demonstrate compassion for your situation while demanding you do exactly that for them. Its not ok. It is inevitable. Our civilization is breaking down around us. Slowly but surely.
You can reduce your stress and anxiety by being the bigger person where possible. Practice not taking things personally. Most bad behavior is a personal problem. Almost anything short of deadly violence can be pardoned. Even violence in some cases: just ask Chris Rock. But when its not possible and they have chosen violence – your ass should be ready.
In fact, being armed will give you pause. It will help you choose peace more often than not. In those circumstances where self defense is required you need to ride down on ’em like a Mack truck. Choose wisely. Wisdom tells us to spare life and avoid conflict as much as possible. Escape dangerous situations as they escalate. Defend yourself when those options no longer exist. Choose peace until peace is not an option. You will be doing us all a favor.