I’m generally an optimistic person (some, even my late mother, called me a Pollyanna), but it’s hard now with the seemingly swift changes in the news (Paul Simon’s words: there were incidents and accidents, hints and allegations).

I’m watching with sadness the George Floyd trial (you know the one, where one and maybe four cops caused the death of a black man); the sexual harassment allegations against almost every celeb; the racism allegations against many celebs and non-celebs alike. Now, the latest round of racial violence against Asians because of irrational accusations that they caused the Corona Virus pandemic.

What causes strange beliefs? What causes people to join cults and become irrational? What causes young people to commit suicide or commit atrocities against others? What causes the need for AR15s and other assault rifles? Is there a need for those for ordinary citizens?

Some of my sadness comes from living for the while that I’ve lived, having seen some of the things I’ve seen, having experienced some of the things I’ve experienced. Certainly, I can remember being harassed as a young woman employee, of flirting back with those in power because I believed it was the only power I had, of seeing gays and blacks harassed in most cruel ways (and, shamefully, looking the other way–thankful that this time, it was’nt me who was being harassed for being a young single mom, for daring to be a young woman trying to make a career for herself and her children).

I’ve heard people say there are degrees of harassment, degrees of cruelty. There should be no room for any of it, especially in America. I am trying each day to be a better person, and I think we can ask that of everyone.