More Similar Than We Are Different
George Floyd should be alive today.
He should be breathing, walking, living.
The video of George Floyd being murdered - if you haven’t seen it - is a tough watch. The sheer ignorance and lack of humility on the part of the officers involved is unquestionably disturbing. Hearing a grown man call out “Mama! Mama!” as he struggles for air is equally heartbreaking. Then he goes limp, his urine (presumably) slowly trickling towards the curb.
As he lays there unconscious with a crowd of people pleading for his pulse to be checked, the cops show no visible signs of concern, 3 of them pinning him down and choking him out while another keeps a growing crowd at bay.
At any point, any one of the 4 could’ve done something or spoken up. Not a single one of them did.
Mr. Floyd was stripped of his dignity and value as a living being and killed, right in the street for everybody to see. And this was all over - get this - a “forgery in progress”.
It’s difficult to process the feelings I have towards Minneapolis PD’s pathetic display of...indecency? No, not strong enough. Inhumane cruelty? Still not there, but closer.
Whatever you wanna call it, it was wrong, unacceptable and like I said earlier, pathetic.
Part of me is angry (closer to enraged), frustrated and sad that this is just another event in a constant string of events. Eric Garner one day, George Floyd the next, somebody else tomorrow. It’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness.
The other half of me is rooted in awareness, knowing that life isn’t permanent and love and forgiveness truly is the path to healing. Looting a Target and smashing up your own community won’t get it done but I understand the angst. That said, we can’t extinguish hatred and systemic racism by fighting back with more of that same energy.
At some point we need to SOMEHOW find the resolve to elevate and transcend our identifying labels and cultural differences and realize that we’re more similar than we are different.
I also find solace in the fact that while life itself is amazing and astonishing, it’s such a small part of who and what we REALLY are, which is so much more than these physical bodies. George Floyd’s soul is back home now. It arrived early, but it’s home none the less.
The Existential Consideration
Think of this; the Earth itself has been around for 4,500,000,000 years and our species has been evolving for around 200,000 (from what we know). We’re literally being sustained by a MASSIVE burning ball of fire 93,000,000 miles away, travelling around it at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour, one planet out of hundreds of billions in one galaxy out of trillions. And that’s just what we can observe.
As you scale out from the earth you realize how lonely and desolate our microscopic little planet is and you realize that our importance is vastly overstated, our problems not that big and our differences pretty much non-existent. We’re specks of dust on a speck of dust on a speck of dust...on a speck of dust.
With that in mind, we need to look at each other like family and realize that “us” is all we have; this time, this planet, this moment, together.
Life expectancy worldwide clocks in around roughly 70 years, a tiny fraction of time out of the 4,500,000,000 that Earth has been around. This makes us unequivocally connected, all 7.5 billion of us.
(Read that again - 70 years out of 4,500,000,000!!!)
I say all that to say this: THE FACT THAT WE EXIST AT ALL IS THE WILDEST SHIT EVER...yet here we are wrapped up in race, religion, politics, gender and social class issues; trivial matters when measured against the true scope of our nature as beings.
Really, we are one. More similar than we are different, connected whether we acknowlege it or not.
Before I leave you with a Carl Sagan quote that is perhaps one of the most concise appraisals of life on Earth ever made, I’d just like to say R.I.P to George Floyd, all the others we lost before him and to all the ones we will lose in the future while we figure this thing out.
Maybe it won’t be in this life, maybe it won’t be in the next 100 years or the next 500 years, but I remain hopeful that one day we’ll get there.
I love y’all, all 7.5 billion of you ✌️❤️