While on a short run, I was listening to the audiobook version of Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctine“, and suddenly, the reader said, “You have now reached the end of the conclusion. We hope you enjoyed listening to Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine!” I was stunned that this book, which was packed with so much information that spanned decades and crossed the globe, was already finished. And while I couldn’t possibly say that “I enjoyed” my time reading, as I was alternately racked by guilt, horror, rage, and a terrible sadness while reading, I can certainly say that I found it was a worthwhile, nay, necessary read.
While I’m still digesting the horror of the implications of that book, I found there was a note at the end that gave me hope:
“The best way to recover from helplessness turns out to be helping – having the right to be a part of communal recovery.”
In this instance, the author is discussing how certain communities took it upon themselves to rebuild their neighborhoods after natural devastation, often marching past the governmental guards/private security personnel set up to keep them out, and how those communities felt empowered by taking part in the rebuilding and reclaiming of their identities. This communal effort used to be a natural part of recovery for areas devastated by disasters, as it allowed the individuals to recover, heal, and be given purpose or focus, but now, these disasters are seen increasingly as “an opportunity” by governments and corporations, and the land is parceled up, contractors hired to “reshape” (rather than “rebuild” – that’s an important distinction) the land, and the former residents are left on the sidelines, watching and waiting for a sense of normalcy that often never returns.
I feel like right now, as we feel helpless in the face of the hate and anger we’re seeing, we have to help. Somehow, we have to find a way to help. Help rebuild our communities. Help build up our children, our friends, our family, our neighbors, and our communities. In whatever way you can, big or small, help.
To expand on something I wrote when I shared my sister’s post “You Are Mighty” – together we are mighty.
Together, we rise.