It’s On Us, Really?

“Compassion becomes real when we recognise our own shared humanity. Only when we know our own darkness well, can we be present with the darkness of others.” ~ Pema Chodron

I guess this is perhaps why we detest the “darkness” in others, and we find it hard to tolerate them. Their darkness could well mirror our own. It is always easier to expect others to put up with our flaws, or even understand our ‘darkness’. It is not always easy to do the same for others. So, we recoil and make judgements. We spit fire and throw stones at one another…all the while we suffer the same darkness.

Is this our shared humanity?

Our individual “darkness” comes in many forms. We are plagued by it in varying degrees and ways. 

Recently, the White House launched a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) to raise awareness about sexual assault. It is also extensively promoted via the #itsonus

I have posted the video below for your easy reference.

As a woman, I have to say that sexual assaults remain one of my biggest concerns. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why I do not go to certain places alone, or dress in a certain way as I may draw “unsavoury” attention to myself, and that my heart basically goes into “panic mode” every time my daughter goes out with her friends. I find myself becoming more paranoid about safety and security. The contents in my hand bag include mace, pen knife and whatever else that could double up as a weapon, when needed. Yet, in my heart I know that none of it may not even help me should the worst happen. That’s the scariest part.

Because there are just too many incidences and news reports how a man, woman or child has been sexually assaulted and then killed. Bodies are found in parks, plastic bags, discarded around like pieces of garbage. And the female gender seems to suffer the brunt end of the statistics. Whether in times of peace or war, women get raped/assaulted. 

As much as we live with our own darkness, we have to put up with others’. And we never know when one person’s darkness will consume us – be it willingly or against our will. For some, the fear is very real, as it is something they have to live with daily.

There are so many comments trending now revolving around the subject of “it’s on us”. Some of them are very nasty and sadly, negative.

Some people do not think that it is any of their concern or responsibility to look out for one another. They believe it rests solely on the individual in question.

I do not pretend to have all the answers, but I shall like to say this much –

If it is not on us, then who?

If we can’t rely on one another, especially the good guys and gals to help out the weak, needy and even incapacitated – then who can we rely on? 

Doesn’t our shared humanity mean something?

Beyond sexual assaults or violence of any kind – I, as a human being, would welcome an act of kindness, or a compassionate assistance in any way or form from someone, anyone – especially, in times when I need it most.

In the same way, I would also pray and hope that if any of you or your loved ones ever needed help, there is always someone kind or even brave enough to lend a helping hand. 

Because our shared humanity should mean that we can and will watch out for each other. 

Because our humanity should uphold empathy, and not apathy. 

So, yes, it is on us, as fellow human beings. 

Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves

Being Afraid Is Human, But Staying Afraid Is A Choice.

  • Carol Balawyder
    September 28, 2014

    This was a wonderful post, Shirley. It’s sad that It’s On Us is getting some negativity. Makes me wonder about the integrity of these people.

    • shirleymaya
      September 30, 2014

      Thank you, Carol. I sincerely hope that the negativity does not impair the message that “it’s on us” addresses. There is just no pleasing everybody. Somehow, some people will find fault in the noble causes. Sad to say.
      Hope all is well with you. I am enjoying your blog posts and sharing. Many of them are most helpful. Thank you again.

      Hugs x

  • amoafowaa
    October 6, 2014

    Our shared humanity must definitely mean something. We need to rely on ourselves in order for the world to win. Great post.

    • shirleymaya
      October 6, 2014

      Thank you, Amoafowaa, for your kind words and for stopping by. Your blog is very cool. 🙂