What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


Hope is us

Posted on April 27, 2018 by Katy Byrne

Sex and money make the world go round. I don’t have either, but just like most things, good sex comes through dialogue – once intercourse meant conversation.

And money, well, that’s getting tighter and tighter for most of us. But, whether its sex or money, the rich and famous rule the land and it’s scary to see all these sleek big buildings replace the quaint ones in our town. There’s a humungous divide between the classes. It’s preposterous.

Yup, I have an emotional hairball to get out here. My question is: how are we are allowing this debauchery?

How is it that we have let our towns become “gentrified,” our policies and TV shows about being power-hungry, violent and uncaring? I’m flabbergasted. We see that there is little mental health available, that healthcare is suffering, affordable anything…not even an apple. But, why aren’t the people rising up more? Sure, the kids are trying, but all of us together outnumber those in power.

I get it — people feel disillusioned about the future. Only 37 percent of eligible Americans voted last round. And the ones who did vote were motivated to elect some very reactionary conservative candidates.

Is there an undercurrent of learned helplessness in us? Maybe because we believe we are too old or we think someone else will handle it, or we’re discouraged, overwhelmed, busy, crotchety or waiting for the next vote… but we each have a responsibility here. The troubles in our world require us to take informed action, if not for ourselves, for the kids. Changing any system, family or work, requires our involvement, courage and our voices.

Oh, believe me; I know that between the fires here in Sonoma County and the Trump administration – it’s been a helluva’ year. All of this leads to a sense of powerlessness. It’s a lot to digest. Resignation, despair or helplessness are rooted in beliefs that nothing can be done about the situation. But we can’t reside there.

Sure, it’s difficult to be pro-active when flooded with fear; it’s hard to think clearly. But direct your energies to helpfulness, don’t speed on the road or hug the butt of the car in front of you, its poppycock. Start talking about solutions and do something.

We, the people, could mobilize to support values for the common good. No matter how divided, we can agree that all of us (rich, poor, white, black, gay or straight…whatever) want a safe place to come home to at night, secure schools for the kids, a life that is peaceful with sufficient funds for all.

We can regain our power! Humanity is capable of great leadership, concern about fairness, resurrection from cancer and recovery from challenges and disappointment. We can get up off our chairs and stay involved in creating leadership that inspires and isn’t gobbledygook. We can step up for a fair political and personal life.

Whatever you believe, I’m just saying — passivity is not an option, not if you want a positive future and not if you love this country. The struggle for economic and social justice, for environmental sanity and world peace must not be considered an option for us; it is a necessity.

As Bernie Sanders said, very few people would have believed that in 2008 an African American could be elected President of the United States, and then re-elected in 2012. But it happened. Very few people would have believed that there would be states in this country where all the major elected officials would be women, and that millions of women would now be working at jobs that women never held before. And now gay marriage and political figures exist in even conservative states.

We can create change –putting one foot in front of the other. There is hope. It is us.

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