Friday, April 6, 2012

Slow and steady...let me slap you.

kony 2012, trayvon martin, compassion
We all remember this classic, don't we?

The cutest thing happened yesterday! I got my KONY2012 kit in the mail. It was such a sweet reminder of the bygone day when the world cared about Invisible Children, when it was working so hard to push one of its founders over the edge, into a stress induced psychosis. Remember those days? Man they really were the salad days. (Salad days: idiomatic expression meaning: days of youth, ignorance, and inexperience.)

But here we are now, 4 weeks later, and who cares? My word. Haven't those Ugandan people helped themselves by now? I mean, we all bought our t-shirts and bumper stickers! Are any of us really going to "cover the night?" 

What I've learned (again) is that viral sensations are very quickly quelled with a decent dose of antibiotic known as social malaise. When it comes on as quickly as KONY2012 did, it doesn't stand a chance. But Trayvon Martin? He's hunkered down and there are at least four people that I know of who are still talking about this one.

Now, this one (Trayvon Martin) is local...ish.  And for those who don't know who Trayvon is, let me give you a primer: teen aged black boy, walking to store in Florida. Wearing hoodie. Older than him Hispanic man sees him, determines through his extensive training as "Neighborhood Watch" captain that said boy is up to no good. He calls 911 where he is prompted, in so many words, to stop his pursuit...effectively, that the WATCHING part has been fulfilled. Whatever else happens, Trayvon ends up dead by this man's hand (which was attached to a loaded gun). The shooter claims, and is being granted, immunity under Florida's whack-a-doo law saying you can stand your ground if you believe you're in danger. 

Details aside, this story came up rather slowly. It didn't burst onto the scene with 265 ka-jillion You Tube hits and Facebook shares in the first 7 minutes. In our hyper connected world, it took a shameful amount of time, so it seems. But it's stuck around a little more. We remember it a little more. SOME people are still thinking about it and worrying about it, and working to change it. 

I know some people are still committed to stopping a ruthless organization in Africa as well, most, Africans! But this whole little conflagration of events has a deeper meaning for me. Go figure.

THE SUM UP. (Finally, right?!?)

Slow and steady wins the race. Rarely, if ever, are we happy to make small advances and then a few more small advances until we reach our goal. We want that GIANT BURST of big energy that propels us at the meteoric speed of light to what we perceive our destination to be. That's certainly what the Invisible Children people wanted. It's stated in their mission. They want the whole world to know.

But when the whole world knows about you, they RUIN you! You are picked apart, ridiculed, demonized and I cannot imagine that does anything but sap you of your ability to function. There are so many people out there hoping to become famous, to become wildly successful and known everywhere for what they do.

It's okay to want that, and to strive for it. But look around and see with a level eye what happens when an explosive rupture occurs and someone or something is FORCED into view. It fades. We kill it with our antibacterial social malaise. (I already said that, but I like it so I'm saying it again.) 

The race is long; slow and steady wins out every time because we save our strength for the long haul. Sprinting doesn't win the marathon. So when things seems like they're going nowhere, or that everything is taking too long, see what you can do to step up the energy, but avoid the temptation to force a burst. 

It's better to finish strong than find yourself wandering the street, naked, and shouting vitriolic nonsense. Right?

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