By Theresa D. McClellan
It’s easy to be overwhelmed
when there is so much ugliness in the world
so easily within our reach;
the airwaves, the newspapers, at our fingertips.
Why is it so easily within our reach
and how much more horrible would it be if it were not?
We must always bring darkness to light.
But there is something else within our grasp.
Something inside of us that continues to build as we are
to yet one more atrocity, one more tragedy, one more horror.
When the atrocities are daily,
when the tragedy is consistent,
when the horror is so constant our mouths can no longer form the word, oh,
does it have the same impact?
Yes, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
There is just so much
that tears at our souls, at our hearts
if we allow ourselves to feel.
Sometimes it seems as if this world is not meant for those who feel.
We are told we are too sensitive
but it is the sensitivity that saves us
because we reach a point, many points actually,
and it continues to simmer until it becomes a boil,
a noise deep within that must come out and we say
IT IS when we reach this point that change happens
that is why I am an optimist
I have seen so many ugly things in my lifetime
I’ve seen the evil we can do
In the name of God
In the name of country
In the name of tradition
In the name of right
I have also seen the salve, the change, the reconstruct, the hope
This is why God gave us elbows.
to make room for all
to claim our space and to bring in those who have been denied
There is room for all to be who we are meant to be
It is good to be overwhelmed
when we listen.
It is our body’s way of saying stop. Now.
Be still. Now
And gather the strength you will need
to wage peace.
This is why you are here
This is why I made you, for this time
For this moment.
When you will use your voice, your words, your bodies, your fingers, your money, your privilege, your heart
Change the story.
Challenge the narrative.
Reclaim the outcome.
There is room for all
But this time,
instead of leading with fear,
we lead with kindness and compassion.
We listen to one another
We respect one another
We grow one another
and those who thrive on fear
have no words
no one is listening
It’s why God gave us elbows.