Mending the Tattered Sail

Hurt people want to hurt people. Nothing hurts quite as deeply as social isolation. It is a pain of unworth, the notion that one is deserving isolation, that is taught and learned in many lessons. Those thirsty for worthiness will drink from any spigot offering it, even those that cause great suffering.

The tools to inflict pain across generations are as easy to get as soda pop. With a finger twitch, bullets fly, lives end and the trajectories of those connected to the suddenly dead and suddenly wounded change. Physical wounds become soul wounds. Each person who falls has a mother and a father and friends and loved ones. Maybe also lovers, coworkers, teachers, or students. Each one could have been a parent, or grandparent, or uncle or aunt in a tomorrow no longer possible. Each time a shot cuts down a person, a jagged slash is cut into the sail that is our collective humanity, leaving us flimsier.

The work of our lives is to strengthen our bonds to one another, to help those who feel cut out remember that they are part of us, and to transform those who would leave us in tatters into menders. Each of us has the power to mend. When we mend each other, often we mend ourselves. Do it again and again and again. When you mend, others discover this power in themselves. Just as pain rips through our sail, the practice of mending can ripple from one person to the next, one word at a time, one act at a time. Remember this and use it. Together we can catch the wind.

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