Being better means having wisdom to know when and how to be less.
I saw a picture of books laid out on a table in the way that bookstores do to promote latest releases or specific subjects. All the books on the table in the photo were banned by schools.
I saw the picture as I was speeding by a social website. I no longer recall where. I don’t really care about the new social. It stopped being social when the value we put on caring for people stopped.
The caring people created private groups where caring people can care about people. Imagine having to hide caring from the public.
I remember a man who stood in front of thousands of people to teach how to stop caring. He taught that they were better than all of the Others, including persons with disabilities. He made faces. Mimicked imperfections. And promised a great country was coming.
It didn’t come. Death did. Crushing families and dreams.
Schools were forced to close. Children were separated from their friends. And teachers. Students with disabilities learned how to negotiate even the slightest things, like getting a glass of water. Pouring water into the dog’s water bowl. Filling the bathtub.
We take water for granted when lakes dry up.
It shouldn’t take us that long to appreciate water.
Books teach truth. This is because we need to know it. We need acceptance of ourselves. We earned that. The stories of us and our truths used to be shared in a circle, where everyone had a turn.
Books are lessons about being. No gun, hand, or voice raised against us is what being is.
Being is not about being better. Being better means having wisdom to know when and how to be less.
When real people stop wanting to be better people, I imagine a stillness will occur next.
I imagine that one person who wants better will pick up a banned book and read the lessons our teachers bravely taught us before it became too unsafe to read, teach, and leave the house.
Teaching was never respected anyway.
Marketing and fear propaganda are.
First published in Medium February 3, 2022