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Update: Brand NEW Posts Coming Soon!!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

How Can It Be Any Better Than This?


In January of this year I left my job. In the months that followed I had some really bad “luck”. I remained unemployed for three months before finding a job as a waitress. Now a sister worked hard for four years and graduated top of her class, the last thing I wanted to be was a waitress. I tried tenaciously to find employment only to be told that I didn’t have enough experience. That was frustrating and it left me BROKE!
Next Many of you know that I had been applying to graduate school. In fact many days graduate school was my impetus for getting out of bed. It was what got me through working at a place where there was complete “dis-order and chaos” I felt like things would get better for me once I got more education and then came the rejection letters. “Dear Crystal we have reviewed you application and regret to inform you….” Well I regretted reading them and even going to the mail.
I became depressed; I felt that I had no direction. To top it all off after graduating many of the people I was closest to moved away...
Disappointed and Despondent, I spent many days in bed because I just didn’t have the psychological strength and motivation to get out. So here I was, jobless, friendless, tired, depressed and that’s when the Enemy decided to really get in my head. He brought on paralyzing panic attacks that left me bottled up in my room for days. He told me I didn’t need to go to church because after all I didn’t feel good and I didn’t have the motivation to get out of bed. Besides if I went I may end up having a panic attack and there would be no one to help me as I commute alone to church. He told me I didn’t have anything to live for after all my Grandmother, who was a parent to me had died a few years ago, I didn’t have a career, I certainly didn’t have any money….He fed me a load of lies combined with a depression/anxiety cocktail and more bad luck than I could possibly mention in this brief sermon. But one thing I didn’t stop doing was praying....
There is something interesting that happens when we are feeling powerless. I’ve hit lots of bottoms in my life. I’ve felt powerless many times. But at the times when we feel most powerless that’s when we began to realize how powerful He is....One day during all this mess I was in I was preparing to take a shower. And as I was cleaning that tub, and running the shower water, I remember the lyrics to [a] Lifehouse song (you can listen to it here). So anyway then I started to hum just a little “you’re all I want, you’re all I need you’re everything”. And I went into my room to take out my contact lenses and I started to sing it “you’re all I want, you’re all I need.” And I went to go get some soap and I started singing. (now I’m realize that I’m here to bless and not curse, so I will spare yall my singing). But I started to sing out loud to God in that bathroom “How can I stand here with you and NOT be moved by you!.” And I remembered my problems and the things that had cut me and the things that kept me away from church, but I also remember God being there with me through it all. And let me tell you as I took that shower I was depressed, I was spiritually and psychologically exhausted. And I looked up and I realized that it was just me and God and he hadn’t gone anywhere.
I started to sing a little louder “How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you.” For those few minutes I felt just how awesome He was. I was miserable, I had problems, but how can I stand in the presence of God and not be moved. I knew the Enemy was listening. So I sang some more “Could you tell me how could it be any better than this” How can it get any better than being moved in the very presence of God. “How could it be… how could it be any better and better than this.!”



This except was taken from a sermon I gave back in May. It is my personal testimony of the goodness of God. Sometimes I'm so wrapped up in my own personal issues or the political/social issues that plague our world that I forget to give God the praise He deserves. My blog isn't a Christian blog per se, but it is a Christian's blog in that I am a professing Christian (a sinner who makes mistakes but believes in God's forgiveness) so that influences my worldview. I think we need to take time to tell God what we are grateful for instead of just coming to him when we need something. I think we should take this Sabbath day to reflect on our relationship with him and what it means to us. If your unsatisfied with your relationship with God, today is a perfect day to get it on track. He's waiting to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Let's Give Injustice A Swift Kick in the Teeth!

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere--MLK

I've done enough talking on this blog about pressing social issues, now it's time for some action. Tomorrow is a crucial day for 6 black kids who have become victims of racism. If found guilty these kids could spend decades of their lives in jail. I have set my alarm clock tomorrow so I will be up early making phone calls to Louisiana officials in support of the Jena 6. I implore EVERYONE who subscribes to this blog (or anyone who maybe reading it now) to do the same and to tell your friends and colleagues. The phone numbers are

LaSalle Parish
Office Phone: (318) 992-8282
Office Fax: (318) 992-4731
Governor Kathleen Baineaux Blanco
866-366-1121
225-342-0991
225-342-7015
Follow link for email: http://www.gov.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&cpid=8

Just let them know who you are, where you're from and that you support the Jena 6. It's that easy!

Also please sign the petitions.
http://colorofchange.org/jena/main.html
http://www.petitiononline.com/aZ51CqmR/petition.html
http://www.naacp.org/get-involved/activism/petitions/jena-6/index.php

There is a link here that will help you make more phone calls (as many as you can every little bit helps) to support these youth. Lastly, if you do not have time to attend the protests that are happening all over the US, or if you don't have time to make phone calls, please wear Black tomorrow as it will signify your protest against this grave injustice. You can email this to all of your friends by clicking the email icon at the close of this blog entry. Don't just shake your head and sigh about the injustice that assaults our society. Let your voice be heard! I know I will.

Racism is a disease that can only be cured through collective efforts against it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This Sistah Speaks Truth

We need a little truth in the midst of chaos. I'll be writing soon, but for now please enjoy this incredible poem.



I wish I could rhyme like that!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Crystal Clear Emotionally Distraught Over Mounting Racial Tensions

Umm. I don't know what to say. I don't know how to say it. So because I am truly too upset to blog please view these clips. Warning: These are not pretty!




You can sign the pettions against this profound injustice here (www.colorofchange.org/jena). Oh and to add insult to injury even though this has been going on over a year it recieved NO news coverage from mainstream media until recently! You can read more about this case at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jena_6

********************************************************************************

And then there was this (of course I couldn't find a clip for this).

Oh look it's the school's new mascot (and probably the most appropriate one).

ABC News says this: A noose was left hanging from a tree limb near a black cultural studies center on an American college campus.

That's the scenario that University of Maryland police, with help from the FBI, are investigating as a possible hate crime that may be tied to a similar racial controversy playing out in Louisiana.

Students and faculty at the university's Nyumburu Cultural Center reported the noose to police Friday afternoon, Paul Dillon, a spokesman for the University of Maryland Police Department, told ABC News. The building has been a meeting point for the university's black students and faculty for 27 years. Nyumburu is the Swahili word for "freedom house."

The noose already had been removed by the maintenance staff when police first took the report, but not before an unidentified student took a picture of the scene and e-mailed the image to police. It shows a roughly 3-foot white rope hanging 10 to 12 feet off the ground and ending with a small noose.

Police issued a campuswide e-mail Friday night regarding the discovery and marking the beginning of the formal investigation.

"We will treat this like any other serious crime on campus," Dillon said, "interviewing witnesses and developing a timeline."

It remains unclear when the noose was originally hung from the tree and who may be behind the apparent hate message. Dillon said creating a timeline will be key and might allow investigators to pinpoint surveillance video of the area showing the perpetrator or perpetrators.

There is recent precedent for racially motivated disputes on the Maryland campus. In 1999, police investigated a series of disparaging letters sent to some of the university's black leaders. No charges were filed, Dillon said, but police did "get to the bottom" of the harassing letters.


Connection With the 'Jena Six'?

Dillon also would not rule out a connection between the noose found on the College Park, Md., campus and the ongoing, high-profile racial controversy in Jena, La. Racial tensions remain high in the Louisiana town as sentencing awaits five of six black teenaged students from Jena High School on charges tied to the beating of a white student in December. A sixth student was charged as a minor.

While no motive for the attack was identified, it took place after three nooses were hung from a tree at the high school. The nooses followed a black student's decision to sit down in a place where white students typically gathered. The students accused of placing the nooses in that instance were suspended from school.

On Sunday, The Rev. Al Sharpton called for an investigation into the district attorney prosecuting the "Jena Six" in the alleged attack on the white classmate. Sharpton also said he would be in Jena on Sept. 20 for the sentencing of one of the teens.

"We don't have anything specifically linking this to the 'Jena Six,' but we're not ruling it out," Dillon said.

C.D. Mote Jr., the University of Maryland president, acknowledged the investigation in an open letter to the campus posted on the school's Web site.

"The possibility that this act appears intended to bring to mind the horrific crime of lynching, which is such a terrible and tragic part of our nation's past, is particularly abhorrent," Mote wrote in the letter.

Mote promised resources to the investigation and swift justice for anyone linked to the incident.

"Any person or persons found guilty of this act will be subject to the university's full judicial process and any possible criminal actions."
************************************************************************************

And finally the icing on the cake...


You can read more about this here ( http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296346,00.html)

If I lived to be 100 years old, I wouldn't understand racism. RACISM IS A DISEASE. It is a contagious pathogen embeded into the fabric of American society and it hurts EVERYBODY--Blacks and white's alike... God have mercy on us.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Rise of Female Masochism

“If this is how you treat someone you love, I’d hate to be someone you hate.”—Rudy Currence





“You’re Lying!” I said incredulously.

“No, I’m not. When I was in college I had several women clean my bathroom, wash my clothes, and cook my meals.” He said matter-of-factly.

I raised an eyebrow. “So you must have been providing these women with certain 'favors' then?” I replied, implying that there must have been a tacit sexual exchange going on.

“No, not at all. I’m telling you that I never did ANYTHING.”

My mind has an inability to comprehend nonsense—particularly nonsense this profound-- so I found myself restating his earlier comments. “So you mean to tell me that you were not providing sexual favors and that there was ABSOLUTELY no reciprocity involved and these women volunteered to provide this maid service for you?”

“Yeah. One girl even apologized for disturbing me while she cleaned,” He said without hesitation.

At this point the feminist inside of me was visibly angry, but I didn't know whether to be angry at this lothario-in-training who unabashedly used these women, or those women for allowing themselves to be used by this cad. The icing on the cake is that not only did these women become HIS personal flunkies, but that they catered to ALL of the men who lived in his dorm complex. Considering how dirty, unhygienic, gluttonous, and just plain triflin the male species tends to be, that must have been a heck of a lot of work for these women to balance with their other student responsibilities, like working, keeping their grades up, running student organizations, and participating in extracurricular activities. Not to mention, cooking and cleaning for themselves. You would think that at least this alleged “Christian” man would have wanted to do SOMETHING to show his appreciation. After all, even slave-masters during the brutal system of chattel slavery we had in this country occasionally awarded their slaves trifles and special privileges for a job well done. But not THIS male or his male cohorts! For most of their academic experience they continued to allow these tired women to act as their personal servants without even the slightest bit of gratitude.

Who’s to blame? In previous posts I discussed the despicable behavior of the black male. I come down hard on black males because I feel that given his treatment in American he should be the last person to want to inflict even more abuse, particularly on his hardworking black women counterpart. I also have a special interest in seeing the black community thrive. But many of the things that I’ve said about the black man are true for ALL MEN. Starting with last weeks rather sarcastic post “Burning with Love” my focus has shifted slightly from examining these behaviors under a racial lens to considering the universality of maltreatment of women by men. In the case of the above, these were nonblack men doing the using, and nonblack women supporting their own maltreatment. To be sure, I am of the ilk that believes that men who mistreat women should be (insert castrated, punished, tortured, sabotaged, lynched etc depending on the offense). Yet as implied in last weeks post, I am having difficulty “getting” why women complacently put up with this crap! What also concerns me is that everyday I witness some form of female masochism. I think many women around me see it too, but aren't fighting against it as vocally as I do.

Allow me to provide some everyday examples of this phenomenon. When I first started college I caught the bus (a grueling experience to say the least). One day on my way back to the other side of Baltimore a woman and a man got on the bus. The “conversation” they had was similar to this one. (I LOATH profanity, but I have to use it here to illustrate the intensity of the situation.)

“What the F*** is wrong with your lazy stupid ***! Yelled the man.

The women just put her head down like a defenseless animal.

“That’s why nobody wants your ***! Your stupid and ugly. I’m the only one who wants to deal with your ***!" He shouted vehemently all over the bus.

The women grimaced in pain, and trembled as if she was too afraid to respond.

“What the F*** is wrong with you? Why the **** are you upset?!! I should be the one upset!”

The woman whispers something inaudible.

“Just sit there and shut up! And don’t say anything ‘til we get off the bus! You’re an embarrassment to me!” he retorted angrily. And for the rest of the bus ride, until their stop the woman acquiesced. I couldn't help but feel that if he was that abusive to her in front of a busload of people, how did he treat the poor woman when no one was around? I also couldn't helped but wonder why she dealt with it. Clearly this was not a loving, caring situation. What positive thing did this woman get out of being verbally abused in public?

Now take my friend Julia* who has been in a three year relationship with a man I’ll call Paul. (In my defense I’m not going to type anything here that I haven’t said to Julia a million times before.) Juila is a gorgeous girl, I’m not just saying this because of our relationship. Julia has been offered several modeling gigs and even a modeling contract with a renowned agency. To top it all off Julia is intelligent, talented, and works hard to go to school full-time while parenting a young child by herself. Since the inception of their relationship, Julia has complained about Paul’s incessant cheating. According to her, Paul has been seeing countless women behind her back and Paul has an addiction to pornographic material. She frequently complains that Paul lies to her and ignores her in order to spend time with these other women—some of which include his ex-girlfriends. Now, I’m not sure if all of these things about Paul are true, but if I even suspected them I would have been long gone if I were Julia! They have broken up because of Paul’s behavior too many times to count, yet always manage to get back together. “I love him, we’ve been together for so long. I’ve invested so much time” are some of the reasons she gives for staying with a man that makes her unhappy. Now because much of the details of their relationship have been given to me in confidence, I cannot include them here, but let me say that their relationship has been tumultuous and that’s putting it mildly. Yet despite the mistreatment (or masochistically because of it?) Julia still goes back. Despite the fact that Julia is worth so much more, she continues to cheat herself by participating in a relationship that causes her pain and conflict. One that could be potentially detrimental to her health.

Mya**, a former associate of mine, was in a similar situation. Mya attended an Ivy League university and maintained excellent grades. She met a man named Thomas, who barely has a high school education, and the two of them began dating. Mya worked hard to balance her relationship with her academic responsibilities, but frequently found herself in arguments with Thomas. It seemed that Thomas had become jealous of her success. Many times I would call Mya long distance to check on her and she would be too exasperated to talk or when she wasn't tired she would spend the time relating a hurtful experience that she had gone through with Thomas. Even with all the fighting and mental strain Thomas and Mya are still together. And get this! Mya financially supports her underachieving partner! To my knowledge, Thomas doesn't even have a job!

Last week, I blogged about women being set on fire, battered, murdered and verbally abused. I could go on endlessly about the many examples of female mistreatment that I have seen firsthand. I’m sure many people reading this post could recount their own experiences with this phenomenon. It seems that Sigmund Freud may have had something when he made the sexist claim that all women are masochistic. I don’t think women realize the effect we have on men’s behavior. If women collectively refused to deal with damaged, lowlife men, then men would have no choice but to change their behavior. This isn't another blog full of woman-blame and contempt; this is the simple realization that men WON”T modify their behavior unless there is motivation to do so. It’s basic operant conditioning at it’s finest.*** Until then, it seems obvious to me that we will continue to see a startling rise in what I can only term female masochism coupled with its atrocious counterpart male sadism. And so the misogyny once again thrives, but this time it is given permission to rear its ugly head by the women who suffer its heinous blows.


About the above picture: That dog has two half-dressed women who volunteered to have dog collars placed around their necks attached to leashes. He boldly holds a leash in both hands.
*C’mon I’m not going to use this sister’s real name
**I had to change some of the details in the story because I like having friends more than I like having a blog.
***I go into detail about the role of operant conditioning on male/female relationships in my post “The Great Black Prince.” I think this applies to ALL Men.
****If you can stomach the graphic content I recommend reading Female Chauvinist Pigs by journalist Ariel Levy. She gives and excellent analysis of this phenomenon in her book.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Burning With Love

“I’m dangerously in love with you”--Beyonce


There are many physiological and psychological indicators that a person is in love. For some it is uneasiness around the object of their desires, for some it is an increased heartbeat, sweaty palms and butterflies combined with feelings of intense attraction, lightheadedness, and euphoria. Still for some, love means scorched skin, singed hair, the smell of seared flesh, charred eyelids, smoke, and flames. Yes folks, some people quite literally burn with desire. I am speaking of Patricia Scales of Southeast D.C. You see, she knows how it feels to be all ablaze with passion, her boyfriend Terrance A. James literally set her on fire!*

Perhaps, even more shocking than the malevolent act itself, is Scales' reaction to it. According to the Washington Post,

“Patricia Scales still cares for the man who tried to kill her, dousing her with gasoline as she sorted laundry in her bedroom and throwing a lighted cigarette lighter her way. She still takes Terrance James's calls from the D.C. Jail, listening without saying a word as he cries and tells her that he's sorry. She keeps dozens of his jailhouse letters to her and their 6-year-old son, Terrance Jr., known as Tank, in two dresser drawers in her bedroom in Bowie. She can't read them all. It tires her fire-damaged cornea. And yesterday she asked the court to have mercy on this man who disfigured her for life.”

She justifies James’s malicious act by saying “He was a good man, He just lost it.” Perhaps, one might argue, Scales was not injured so badly as to harbor resentment towards her estranged love. But the way the Washington post describes her injuries implies otherwise.

“Scales suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of her body. She has had 20 surgeries and is expecting to undergo at least two more. She spent a total of 5 1/2 months in the hospital. Today, pink and brown scar tissue lines Scales's face, chest and arms. The marks trail down her back and legs. Her neck is covered with open sores from her scratching to ease the feeling of bugs crawling over her body, a result of skin grafts. She has limited use of her left arm. Such simple chores as making her bed are a struggle with only one hand. She can't stand long in front of the stove to make Tank waffles. And she's awaiting a surgery that will widen her mouth to allow her to eat more comfortably. Scales ingests 12 antibiotics and vitamins a day...She steps into a cold shower 10 times a day and slathers on medicated lotion to cool her skin.”

That sounds like an ordeal that might miff even the most forgiving and easygoing among us, yet Scales defends James to the end, stating that the man who doused her with gasoline and stood over her yelling “Who’s in control now”, did not want to hurt her. In fact, she pleaded for Judge Herbert Dixon to show leniency. To describe such behavior as preposterous would seem like a ridiculous understatement!

However gory and ludicrous this story is, it is not a first. In August 2005 a Georgia man decided to show his fiancĂ© the flames of desire by, you guessed it, dousing her with gasoline and lighting her on fire.** In 2003 another man attempted to ignite his love with the sparks of passion.***This Romeo held his love captive in a fiery embrace that left the two of them unconscious. A year later, another gentleman incinerated his pregnant girlfriend. It seems fire has become a very popular execution method, after all standard homicides are becoming a bit passĂ©. When doing my research for this blog entry the words “Man sets girlfriend on fire” garnered 2,390,000 hits on Google. I encourage you to try it yourself and you too will find hundreds of gruesome tales of men who douse their beloveds in gas and then lit them up. However, to be fair, most of these women did not continue to have relationships with their assailants.

All this leads me to wonder whatever happened to good old fashion domestic abuse? What became of the good ole days when men would just beat the stuffing out of their women behind closed doors? It seems the innocent years of violence against women are gone. I personally long for the gilded days of yesteryear where women only had to worry about being raped, sodomized, groped, sexually harassed, beaten, emotionally battered, cheated on, diseased and perhaps shot to death by the opposite gender. The men who exploited and debased women in times of old, must be spinning in their graves when these modern day misogynist treat women so appallingly. Even Juanita Bynam’s husband, man of God that he is, felt that real men use their fist and feet to relate to women, NOT a LIGHTER AND GASOLINE!

It seems that while some men show their unwavering devotion by promising the sun, moon and heavens, some demonstrate their endless adoration by giving their betrothed an exclusive preview of hell. Whatever happened to roses and candy? Sure it’s not as original or as adventurous as say, LIGHTING SOMEONE ON FIRE, but it’s probably a bit more appropriate (and humane).

Why am I writing about flames today? Have I morphed into a pyromaniac? No. In a nutshell, I just don’t understand why women allow themselves to be treated so poorly. In Scales' case she is a recovering cocaine addict, but woman abuse happens to all types, classes and races of women. It happens to prominent people like Juanita Bynum and common everyday Janes. Yet violence against women is not a modern day invention. This has gone on since the inception of time and women today practically stand in line and beg for ill-treatment. Woman abuse is the proverbial elephant in the room: we all know it’s there, yet we do not want to talk about until it starts charging at us.

According to the Center for Disease Control domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans, or more than 10% of the U.S. population.

I read on wikipedia today that “in the United States, 20 percent of all violent crime experienced by women are cases of intimate partner violence, compared to 3 percent of violent crime experienced by men. In the United States, women are six times as likely as men to experience intimate partner violence. Percent[ages] of women surveyed (national surveys) who were ever physically assaulted by an intimate partner: Barbados (30%), Canada (29%), Egypt (34%), New Zealand (35%), Switzerland (21%), United States (22%). Some surveys in specific places report figures as high as 50-70% of women surveyed who were ever physically assaulted by an intimate partner.”

I could take this time to castigate the male species, and do so justifiably, but their unpardonable behavior does not concern me as much as the behavior of women, who seemingly condone the maltreatment. This defies any and all logic to me. Are women so desperate for love that they would sacrifices their self-respect, wellbeing, and even life itself to possess just an inking of it?

In my humble opinion, arson and love are not the same! Battery does not signify love! Cheating, verbal disparagement, and all other forms of torture are not synonymous with love! But what do I know. I’m just a blogger.

*See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/08/28/AR2007082800889.html and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/28/AR2007082801755.html
**See http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/08/11/girlfriend.fire/index.html
***http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9D0CEED7113CF93AA25754C0A9659C8B63

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sad

What do you do when you feel sad? Who do you tell when you are too sad to cry? Too sad to think? Too sad to do anything except feel the enormous weight of the sad that has been inexplicably thrust upon you.

Nobody wants to hear that you are sad. After all to admit that would kill the mood. It would make people feel awkward. It might even tempt people to evaluated their own emotions and peel off their facades. Those who might listen would speak to you in well- intended yet meaningless platitudes. They would tell you “it’s going to be alright”, look on the bright side,” “things will get better”, and my favorite “just leave it in the Lords hands”. I’m certainly not implying that God is incapable of taking care of things. I wholeheartedly subscribe to that truth. Yet sometimes these words just aren’t enough to cut through all the sad. Inexorably, that may be all we have to offer at times.

What’s more our society is quick at assigning people a ready-made label. We like to use words like depression to describe a prolonged emotional state we believe is “unacceptable”. Someone who feels this way is told that she has a psychological disorder and that generous doses of mind-altering chemicals should be applied to relieve it. Every year doctors write more and more prescriptions only to write more the next year and more the next. However, the sad does not go away. It remains resilient even in the face of powerful medications.

The problem is a complicated one and can in no means be treated causally. There are many theories on depression that fall in the categories of nature or nurture or both or none. We debate its cause and its cure. Yet with the mountains of literature, and statically driven data, self-help books, and even spiritual and homeopathic remedies, sad manages to thrive. The miraculous panacea that we seek fails to be found. Perhaps, we argue, because such a cure is too complex, but what if it were so simple that we have overlooked it and thus have done a tremendous and irreparable wrong to those who are sad?

At the risk of sounding simplistic what would happen if we were allowed to be sad? All human beings have the capacity for sadness. Early on we are taught that some emotions are good and some are bad. We assign value labels to everything; even our feelings. We are taught that if an emotion feels bad it must be bad. But just because a feeling is “bad” does not mean that we shouldn’t experience it. As morbid and counterintuitive as it sounds perhaps many people commit suicide because they aren’t allowed to feel sad. However, what if people were allowed to feel sad—unapologetically. Our forefathers wrote that we have the right to pursue happiness, yet we are ironically not permitted to be sad.


What do I mean by that? Our relationships are superficial. You see groups of friends with pasted smiles on their faces. We greet each other with fake smiles and engage in meaningless “small” talk. We say we agree even we don’t. We go along with the group. Few people want others to know that they are sad. So we lie. And these outward lies that we use to mask our feelings force us to stuff what we really feel inside. We weren’t made for that and the result is that more and more of the sad is pushed deeper and deeper inward until it is trapped inside of us. To be sad is to be somehow be irrevocably tainted. Subconsciously, we recognize this quite early in life and so we contain and compartmentalize the sad until it consumes us.

Even as I consider my own relationships this truth remains. I go out with people I hardly know. We call ourselves friends because we have fun together and have been in each other’s company for so long, yet we know nothing about each other. We ask casually “how are you doing” without any real interest in the answer to a question that could be life changing. We respond equally superficially with the word “fine” ad naseum. We share meals, jokes, interests, and ideas, but we don’t share sad.

At the risk of sounding cynical life is sad at times. Bad things happen to us and to those we claim to love and sometime these things happen suddenly and seemingly without reason. Our world has become increasing on edge as we are beset with wars, political upsets, mounting social atrocities, economic disparities, and the ubiquitous day to day hassles. To pretend these things don’t exist is not only profoundly ignorant, but a profound disservice to ourselves. We don’t need to descend into a pool of self-loathing in order to acknowledge that we feel dismay at the senseless things that happen in our world—our personal world and the world at large. Arguably we need to feel sad, often for more than just a few minutes or a few days. We need to allow those we love to feel sad without trivializing their emotions. We need to establish real relationships with people instead of the shallow ones that are dominating our society.

This essay doesn’t pretend to have all of the solutions and probably poses more questions than it answer, yet our denying and even medicating our emotions only leads to negative outcomes. Our reactions to those who are sad, as well as our increasingly superficial relationships with one another other only helps to exacerbate the very state we long to alleviate: sad.