Last night in Austin I experienced my wife on purpose.
We had a beautiful dinner in a wonderful little restaurant slightly North of the city. We were walking back through downtown to experience the live music and happenings on 6th Street.
It was a complete mob scene, people of all colors and orientations crowding the streets.
As we approached the intersection of Red River and 7th, we saw an older African American gentleman writhing in pain on ground. He was really messed up, frothing from his mouth, fists clenched and his eyes bulging and unblinking. People were literally walking over him to cross the street. We stopped and my wife got down on the ground with him and I called 911.
While I was on the phone with the 911 medic, a lone female police officer pulled up. My wife was holding this mans head in her hands as blood and saliva were pouring out of his mouth or nose, it was impossible to tell from where. The officer just stood there, at a distance, while crowds gathered around doing nothing, while people continued to cross the street, while a trained police officer just watched.
I screamed at the officer to do something. To help my wife, to help this man, simply to help. The medic on the phone was trying to calm me down. I watched helplessly as my wife gently held this man who was flailing about uncontrollably. Suddenly everything in him went limp. His eyes rolled back into his head, his hands unclenched, his legs became two pieces of loose string.
Quickly, my wife took his pulse and rolled him over to begin CPR. Still people stepped around us and the lone police officer, now with rubber gloves on while my wife had none, remained frozen, at a distance, doing nothing.
Once on his back, he lurched back to life. This is an image I cannot stop replaying.
The paramedics arrived and four of them held him down while they began providing aid.
Four big guys restrained him. Before that it was my 120-pound wife, alone on the ground with him, holding his head in her hands to keep him from banging it, talking to him, encouraging him to hang on.
More cops arrived. They said he was on K2, a batch of synthetic marijuana that is making people sick, crazy and violent. The lone cop claimed she stayed away because people on K2 can be dangerous. I guess she didn’t want to get hurt and yet it was okay for my wife to get hurt.
There were so many distressing and confusing elements to what we experienced.
What the hell is K2? Why would somebody be selling drugs that hurt people? Why isn’t marijuana legal everywhere?
How can people literally walk over a human being, clearly in pain, clearly in need, in the street and do absolutely nothing? Was it because he was black? Was it because we’ve lost our empathy? Have we become careless, literally having no care for each other? Was it fear? Or was it too much trouble to get involved?
Why are cops robots? Why have we given them permission to be above humanity and above the law? Is this job destroying them? Seriously, the one cop on the scene was paralyzed and emotionless. I apologized for yelling at her, a few times, the first time because I meant it and the proceeding times to see if there was anybody in there. Answer was no.
We walked back to our AirBnB in shock. My wife’s clothing covered in a stranger’s saliva. We replayed the incident over and over and over and over again.
We woke wondering how he was doing. Hoping he wasn’t dead. Hoping he wasn’t in jail. Hoping he had somebody to care for him.
Thing is, this is our reality. There are so many people in need and so many people walking over them, not stopping, not seeing them, just crossing the street because the light is green.
Hillary Clinton told us about Russia.
Donald Trump told us exactly who he is.
The media told us what to be fixated on.
Social media made us feel both connected to each other and disconnected enough to be cruel to one another.
A black man in the street, in apparent pain, in our waking reality, was ignored. By his brothers and sisters, by the system, by our decision to not be involved.
Look, I know if you are reading this, you are engaged.
I know you.
I know your heart.
I know you are in active pain and despair because of our country’s course.
I am so grateful that you are awake.
I am so grateful I am awake.
I am so grateful my wife’s purpose is so clear as last night when somebody needed it most, she did what she is here to do love, feel love and be love.
Every morning I wake saying I am done sending these emails. That there is enough information out there for people to take actions, that I don’t need to add to the noise. I want to stop as my own vulnerability to my own humanity, to our humanity, makes me want to shut down. My fear of doing it wrong. Of giving you bad information. Of not being smart enough. Informed enough. Of not being read. Of not being seen. And then I realize, this isn’t about me. None of it is.
This is about us. About the world I want to live in with you. About the world I want to create with you. About the community we’re in together. If it where about me, would I have walked over that man in the street? Because it’s about us, I keep stopping to help.
The help I can give is to easy ways to engage, to create a platform of information and encouragement, to be uncomfortable in my own discomfort, my feelings of helplessness, my need for affirmation, my sadness that I don’t know what else to do.
I constantly absorb information hoping I can learn more and be more helpful.
I just want us all to feel connected to our selves and to each other. I simply want us to stop focusing on the material and feel attuned to the spiritual. The spirit of all of us. The spirit of goodness, kindness, love, generosity and pain.
I want to shift the paradigm away from greed and into good. I want to work with you to build it how we dream it. To create it so it feeds all of us and not some of us.
I crave this community. I crave this connection. I crave the pause of love. And I fear it too. And, as I told my wife when we had first begun our courtship, I simply hope love is bigger than fear. I hope my love is bigger than fear. I hope we will all know more love than fear. And when the fear arises, I hope we envelope people in love to scare that fear into oblivion.
I want to end the active pain we’re in right now. The current way I know to this is encouraging all of us to make calls to stop the madness of this regime. And to be awake to the pain of so many. To demand action on the black girls who are missing in DC. This should be front page news and we all need to be looking for these girls. If you don’t know about this, please read this article -
The people working for us need to do their jobs.
The system works when we are engaged. We saw that so clearly on Fridaywhen a terrible healthcare bill was killed by our caring.
It's Sunday so we’ll get their voicemails.
TODAY’S EASY ACTIVISM –
CALL MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND DEMAND THE HEARINGS ARE PUBLIC ON MONDAY. Devin Nunes is up to something no good and we, the people, deserve the TRUTH.
- Devin Nunes – 202.225.2523
- Mike Conway (CA) – 202.225.3605
- Peter King (NY) – 202.225.7896
- Frank Lobiondo 202.225.6572
- Thomas Ronney (FL) - 202.225.5792
- Illeana Ross-Lehitinen (FL) 202.225.3931
- Michael Turner (OH) 202.225.6465
- Brad Wenstrup (OH) 202.225.3164
- Chris Stewart (UT) 202.225.9730
- Rick Crawford (AK) 202.225.4076
- Tray Gowdy (SC) 202.225.6030
- Elise Stefanik (NY) 202.225.4611
- Will Hurd (TX) 202.225.4511
Stay in love. Stay in faith. Stay in connection.
Gratitude and love to you –