No Thoughts. No Prayers.


No. 

My thoughts and prayers are not with the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. 

My thoughts and prayers are not with Puerto Rico.

My thoughts and prayers are not with the waterlogged folk of Houston (yes, that’s still a thing) or the wind damaged folk of Florida and the Virgin islands (also still a thing). 

My thoughts and prayers are not with kneeling football players or standing veterans or DACA, or DAPL or ACA or POTUS or #IDGAF. 

Because my thoughts and prayers mean nothing to these people. 

Giving “Thoughts and prayers” to the newest trending disaster is lazy and selfish. 

Yeah, you fucking heard me right. 

Lazy.

 Selfish.  

I guarantee, that not one single victim of any disaster in the whole wide world is thinking to themselves “well, I’ve lost everything of meaning in my life, but at least strangers are thinking and praying for me.” 

No.

It is an act of self-comfort. When faced with the discomfort of a dangerous and unjust world, “thoughts and prayers” make us feel better. It allows us to acknowledge how very terrible this awful event has made us feel without lifting a single finger to provide real aid or enact real change. 

It is passive participation in another person’s misery, tragedy, suffering, and injustice. It is a useless, selfish, empty, and increasingly meaningless gesture. 

If I am not willing to act then I don’t deserve to feel better

If I am not actively working with my hands and words and votes and time and money to ease the suffering of now and prevent the suffering of tomorrow then I don’t get to ignore the suffering of others with a clear conscience. 

And neither do you.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 2, 2017.

2 Responses to “No Thoughts. No Prayers.”

  1. Yes. Which leaves us grappling with the other questions about a meaningful life and how best to use our lives and talents and what is enlightenment and righteousness and love…. if it matters to anyone, to us, then…. The following quote is not just a quote to me but something I have pondered and continue to ponder- and act upon:

    “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

    I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

    I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

    GB Shaw

    And when I ask myself, okay, if I am only “thoughts and prayers”-ing folks (not UNimportant, though, I think, very important, for all manner of reasons) then what is really necessary here and what can *I* actually do?

    And I keep coming back to the basics- keeping my heart open, but being myself. And who is my self, and what does she need to do to bloom as the flower-self she is today?

    • That’s one of my favorite GBShaw quotes too, although I’m not sure I’ve ever read the but about the ‘splendid torch’ before: I’ll have to remember that.

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