How to Stop the Shouting?

Dehumanizing is the problem, and shame ain't gonna work.

I dehumanized Trump by calling him a “dumpster pumpkin.” I’m not sorry yet, but I’m working on it. The people that I see as blindly following him are almost animals to me as well, and that has to stop. My disbelief-turned grief-turned fear-turned rage blocks my compassion.

And yet, my need to see accountability is all our need for accountability. There can be no unity without it. Truly, if there is no justice, then there will be no peace. Two pieces of widely available, recently posted media made me stop and think. I hope you will give them a watch and a listen.

I’m not one to have my interest piqued by the Governator (I was a LOT more interested in Sarah Connor in the Terminator franchise.) But, this video circulated so widely that I decided to give it a watch before yoga the other night. And, WOW! Arnold speaks to intergenerational trauma and shame on such a personal level, and what that does to the individual and the community in such a striking and compelling way. I implore you to watch:

Sure, sure, there’s some “Rah-rah-rah America that might flip your jingoism switch a little, but watch for the compassion and love he is shining out. He, a son of a broken and abusive father in Austria under Nazi rule. His vulnerability here is a model for strength for all of us.

Another thing I have finally come to enjoy over the past year is listening to podcasts that impart wisdom, and the podcast that has been hitting the sweet spot for months has been Unlocking Us with Brené Brown. Her latest episode, which works well as a follow up to her other episodes about why shame does not work, is a beautifully organized and reasoned argument for our collective need for accountability and compassion, which may feel like a paradox, but is actually the key to unity. I will probably listen to it 2–3 more times, I shit you not.

If you’re feeling up for a twofer, check out this episode, too. You will hear why shame does not work, at all, even when it should, to get people to wear masks and give a shit about each other.

Really, the whole goddamned podcast is so good. Her interviews with Dolly Parton, Gabby Rivera, and Priya Parker are some of the best interviews I’ve ever heard. Watch out, Terry Gross!

nerd with an MLIS

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