A longtime mutual said they wished people who posted saree pictures would find rats eating their clothes. My timeline is full of hate levelled at book cover posters, musicians, yoga practitioners, performers, travel bloggers, cooks. Hatred towards anyone whose timeline is not full of hate. It’s a tiring way to live through the day when most of it is spent in this toxicity.
The viciousness stings. When I ask people why they’re being so malicious, the responses are usually that they didn’t mean me, that I’m not that important so why should I care, that they are ‘just’ venting or lashing out, that mental health issues justify any behaviour, no matter how hurtful.
‘Toxic positivity’ is the villain. At the moment there isn’t a single human being on the planet who feels safe or content. So what gives anyone the right to hold their suffering as a weapon against those who aren’t crying? How does this help? I don’t think misery actually likes company.
The act of smiling is bravery. It is hope in the face of the worst we have ever experienced. It is the courage to do so even as naysayers wear you down. And if you can’t summon this up, it’s okay. Acknowledging that you are scared & hurting is also brave. Being honest about what a mess life feels like, can be healing.
But attacking others for coping is neither brave nor healthy. It is poisonous. A contagious kind of poison. Our lives are not what comes after. They’re living stories we’re writing right now. Together, about, with and for each other.
As of today, we don’t know if, when & how we will survive the pandemic. What we do have control over, is how we treat each other & the space around us. Are we punishments or collaborators in the world around us? Do we fill it with joy or suffocation? Do we light it with serenity or rage? Do we carry it with hope or resentment? This world that we share with others, do we create it as a space of love or pain?