It's been 2 months since I last wore my bike helmet for reasons other than protection from police officers looking to incite violence by shooting people in the head. Apparently, here, they've moved to smash and grab tactics this week, so... Woo progress?
This picture fills me with joy. Embedded in it are so many blessings that others are not allowed access to.
In that picture are thousands of dollars of unexpected medical and mental treatment. My job pays well enough that we are not destroyed by these expenses (of which insurance has paid 0%, to whom we pay thousands more for the privilege, woo!). This is a weekday, and I'm home sharing the burden of care and instruction for my children. We make enough that Elnora can devote years to them, and my managers are understanding enough to make room for me to assist. We're going to piano lessons. That's not my only bike. I'm surrounded by greenery and public land. My neighbors are not threatened by my passing because of skin color. My employment has not been in jeopardy because of the other uses I've put that helmet to. When I've been threatened by officers these months, I could always choose to walk half a block and take off the helmet, and I'd be assisted rather than threatened.
I, and Elnora, and our parents, and their parents before them have worked hard, assisted by society and luck and to be able to have any of the things in that picture. I am not so foolish or self centered as to believe that that work is what sets me apart from those less fortunate than I.
In less than three weeks there's an election, and I'll be voting for people that demonstrate an ability and willingness to empathize, to respond constructively to criticism, to welcome oversight, to lift up those around them rather than themselves.
But, our job (of which I've been derelict most of my life, and periodically will be again, I'm sure) is to provide those opportunities for empathy, criticism, and oversight, so that that willingness and ability gets exercised more than once every term.
So that maybe some of the wonderful people I've met the last two months can take a similar picture and feel the same joy, pride, and security that I do