What is it like to be you? We inhabitants of planet earth could do well to continually ask this question.
To the opposing side, the ones who are “surely in the wrong”: What is it like to be you?
To the microscopic sea creatures, the bleached out coral reefs, the seagull who has swallowed too many discarded plastic bits: What is it like to be you?
To the coal miners, the line men, the operators of fracking sites and off shore oil rigs, the families who depend on fossil fuels and all the systems that are steeped in acquiring the earth’s underground resources, selling them, and using them: What is it like to be you?
To the park rangers, the wilderness camp counselors, the environmentalists, the activists, the biology teachers, the scientists, all those who see the patterns human activity have impacted, those who love the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, the prairies, the oceans, the deserts, the strong winds and the clear blue air: What is it like to be you?
To the poor of the third world, the people who inhabit the nations that are most affected by a climate that is shifting rapidly, the ones who have to leave their familial homelands because their land base has been swallowed by the sea or is too hot to support a community: What is it like to be you?
To the poor of rural white America, those people whose livelihoods so often poison the very water they can no longer drink, those who have been forgotten and who have a right to be angry with the system: What is it like to be you?
To the poor of urban America, those people whose skin color so often dictates the outcome, the ones whose history is so tangled in systemic violence and hate: What is it like to be you?
To the indigenous of the world, those who were here first, the ones who know the land like a second skin and honor it as such. The ones who have been stolen from again, and again, and who bear the scars of persistent colonialism: What is it like to be you?
To the immigrants, the refugees, the “illegal aliens”, the people who have come to a new land searching for a better life, the ones who have to prove themselves over and over again, the ones who are sent back or stopped at the border: What is it like to be you?
To those in law enforcement, the soldiers, the security guards, those who are tasked with keeping other people safe, the ones who have seen what fear can drive someone to do. The ones who are doing their jobs: What is it like to be you?
To the GLBTQ, the unorthodox, the “alternative”, the people who make their own path or were born into a path that some deem wrong. The ones who are strong enough to be themselves: What is it like to be you?
To the middle class of the world, the people who are stuck in between having too much and feeling like it’s never quite enough to breathe easy: What is it like to be you?
To the elite, the 1%, the people who call the shots and impact so many lives, whether with the click of a computer mouse that moves virtual dollars or a politician’s signature on a bill to purchase something that is beyond monetary value: What is it like to be you?
To the myriad groups and individuals and perspectives and lenses that make this world such strange and terrible and beautiful place:
What is it like to be you?