I am so upset by what is happening in the news that I am literally sick to my stomach. I can’t sleep through the night and I have terrible dreams. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen next and feel powerless to stop any of it. I hope my kids and grandkids don’t read this because I’m supposed to say, “Everything will be all right.” I’m also hoping that I’ll go on the news black out that I think I need. And only concentrate on the beauty around me, and the people around me who agree that we must honor our neighbors as ourselves.
I wrote the paragraph above one night before I went to bed, to try to sleep. I knew I needed to get perspective.
So a funny thing happened to me on the way to becoming more detached from the news and politics.
It started off well.
I woke up and took a beautiful walk along the lake, enjoying the budding plants and the antics of some goslings until a gander shooed me away. A lovely spring morning.
An hour later, I was making myself a cup of tea at the gym while I waited for my yoga class to begin. That’s when I heard a man say that Keith Ellison is against having any United States borders.
“He’s the number two guy in the Democratic party. It just shows where the Democrats are coming from. They don’t want any laws at all to keep dangerous people out of our country,” he said.
Just take your tea outside and enjoy the blue sky, I told myself.
“That’s terrible,” another man said. “What’s the matter with them?”
Instead of me going out the door, all my good intentions went. I found myself taking my tea and a seat next to them.
“I think you need a Democrat to even out this discussion,” I said in my most friendly manner. “Why do you think Keith Ellison is against borders?”
“He wore a t-shirt that said, ‘Yo no creo en fronteras’.”
“Are you sure this is real news?” I asked. “Last week I read that Hillary and Huma Abedin mutilated a young girl. It was definitely fake news.”
That got their attention.
“I heard you mention that Jerry Brown is trying to ruin California,” I said.
“Well, he is,” one of the men said. He was wearing designer work out clothes.
“California is now the fifth largest economy in the world,” I said. “I admit to being an English major, but even I can do the math on that statistic.”
The guy shook his head. “But Brown is letting all these immigrants in—having sanctury cities, that kind of thing,” he said. “Letting all these Mexicans congregate here, stealing, raping, doing drugs…”
A Latina woman who worked at the gym walked by. I cringed.
“Yeah, we’re not safe in our own houses anymore. And they want to take away our guns so we can’t protect ourselves,” the first guy said.
I wanted to say, “Why are you so stupid? You’re listening to a bunch of propaganda filled with hate,” but I refrained.
“That’s not true,” I said instead. “Most of the people who are here are law abiding citizens. Those who aren’t, the dangerous criminals, they won’t be turned loose. There’s no threat to public safety.”
They looked at me as if I had two-heads. “How do you know this?” one asked.
“I read the bill on line,” I said.
At that moment, my yoga teacher called to me that class was starting.
“Well, it was nice talking to you,” I said, getting up.
“Yeah, have a nice day,” one of them said.
I walked down the hall, wondering about Keith Ellison’s t-shirt and how in the world we can get to the truth anymore.
Not exactly an “OM” moment.