Our country is burning. I wouldn't say its "falling apart" because that would imply it was previously intact. Clearly it never has been. There have been massive cracks and holes we have papered over and the paper has been ripped open and burned to ash and we all have to look and do the hard work of fixing those wrongs before we can build again.
I feel guilt about how little I can do. I have a duty to my family and my patients and I can't be protesting where there is tear gas and rubber bullets and random arrests of peaceful citizens and journalists. And yet...part of me longed to be there, to rage and shout, and fight on the right side of justice, damn the consequence.
I rage-donate instead. Equal justice initiative, and ACLU and our city's bailout funds. And I read and listen to the words of truthful and intelligent men and women. I talk to my children about what is happening, and I hope to keep the conversation going. I'm writing letters to our city officials about diverting our meager budget towards schools and housing and food for people vs. arming the police. Of course, I voted in the primary today (by mail) and I am looking into organizations I can join to help influence in November. I can't do much but I can write some texts and postcards.
I am also thinking about discrimination and implicit bias in medicine, and taking time to think through each patient interaction afterward and how it may have been influenced by prejudice in any way. I know it happens, I'm sure I've done it, but I want to be aware and do better. I think of the many many ways the privileged hold on to that privilege over generations, even in advocating for their family's health care. How can I help those that don't feel comfortable, or even realize the need, to speak up and be the squeaky wheel?
Its not enough, but its a start. I've stopped thinking "I can't wait for things to get back to normal" because normal is NOT ENOUGH.