Time speeds by when you start to rekindle a life of passion. Suddenly the days and hours jump forward unconsciously throwing you forwards as you unravel the details around what is fueling you to push onwards. Sure, I could have taken the weekend off and continued the status quo, that is before a #TrumpPresidency was reality, and I tried. I was exhausted, and it seemed like people around me were exhausted too. The thing is, now that I am aware of injustice I just can’t put life on pause anymore.
Tonight we decided to take a look into Drone Warfare via documentary by #SoniaKennebeck and National Bird; of course, a few hours after a trip to Target to save a few dollars on organic non-GMO Oatmeal, then a QSR food joint that I don’t mind, showered twice because I was cold in the morning and the afternoon, before I threw on my jeans and a pair of shoes from Paris that make me happy, along with a new sweater and shirt just for the fun of it. Walking up to the theater, it too had undergone a remake of sorts. It was colorful, donned cement floors with colorful signs whose purpose was to emphasize its creative and hip side. I’m never prepared for my conscience to pipe up, but I had a feeling this remodel might spur some inner conversations. It wasn’t until after the movie that walking through the newness and brightness and perhaps even comfort made me feel a deep uncomfortability for our lifestyle in contrast to the places we bring war upon.
I had been blissfully enjoying my limited understanding of the role of #drones in war. But something drew me to want to know more, it was something about the trailer, something about seeing and listening to the stories of brave Whistleblowers unveiling the lives they had to live as members of our military that drew me in. As I watched and listened I found my hand held close to my mouth, I had to struggle to try to relax my shoulders as vague and sometimes blob like footage dashed about the screen like ghosts. As the dialogues presented themselves and made clear what we were witnessing, I began to feel my conscience gaining strength. She started to call to me from within, pointing out the ways in which I’ve had the privilege of not knowing the effects of military drones in Afghanistan or what they even do there. She jabbed me in my ribs, she smacked me upside my head: she made me furious at how mislead I allowed myself to be.
Watching the stories of the men and women who have survived US Drone Strikes, listening to their pain, watching as 23 family members are unnecessarily murdered, I felt an anger welling up inside of my chest. The anger of someone who allowed her head to be turned, blissfully distracting myself with needless and privileged decisions like whether to eat gluten or ask for a refill of my Jamaica Mint Lemonade on ice. And I’m just a curious moviegoer: the three Whistleblowers have had to live with their actions while the government maintained a Top Secret program knowing that they were cogs in a vicious kill centric machine.
One of the women in the movie was the first to receive Disability support for her PTSD, and she looked so young. Knowing the system that supports our Veterans will never be enough; I find it hard to take comfort knowing that they acknowledge the traumas she has endured. Walking out of the theater I felt heavy with the knowledge that while I walk through streets lined with Christmas lights, the Afghan children run past Hell Fire craters surrounded by desert. Every action and thought I had before seeing National Bird were brought into a light of privilege by my conscience and I thank her every time she finds a need to chime in.
There is much work to be done, but the only way to contribute to the solution is to open yourself to what you don’t know embracing the possibility that you may know little of the things that bring life and death in a world you’ve never thought about. So much so that in the end of the day you’ll feel like there is more to do than you can swallow and perhaps even deeply angry like me: we are stronger together, we can make a difference if we know definitively what we believe is right and wrong and what WRONG looks like. It’s time to speak up and seek to find out more about that which you know the least about. These moments are like taking brush to canvass, the first time you see the colors spreading, dripping, maybe blurring into each other is kind of scary maybe even a bit powerless. But once you learn, and listen, and start to hone your mind by opening it to the limitless possibilities: that’s when you know exactly what you want to paint. When you start to see the colors come to life showing you on the canvass a world appearing right before your eyes, changing with each brush stroke, suddenly everything is clear. Don’t hesitate- dive in. The world is waiting for you.
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