I know the worth in this is small in the grand scheme of things, but because I have a voice, I want to use it – because lately, I have been felt so powerless and tired. Know that I doubt the clarity of my articulation, but proceed anyway. I am tired of toxic doses of cynicism, so take it or leave it.

It is amazing to be alive – to be with others and know we are not alone. But living is difficult without knowing there is love. And if we are to be angry about what happens in the world, I wish this anger to be useful – to not come out of hatred but from love. And what I have learned from my family – biological and chosen – and so many teachers – academic, artistic, personal, vicarious – is that the prerequisite of this is to love and care for ourselves, to be confident. It has been a long learning process. I am still learning. I am learning to count my blessings, but also, slowly, how to articulate what I refuse.

So. I don’t want a world where human lives become numbers. I don’t want a world where we find justification for hurling bombs, crashing planes, destroying homes. I don’t want a world with terror or hatred toward anyone. I don’t want a world where our patriotisms make us blind to humanity. I don’t want to live in a world with antisemitism or Islamophobia. I don’t want a world where religion, becomes justification for any kind of oppression, any kind at all. I don’t want a world where girls are taken away, disappeared or forgotten. I don’t want a world that hates women, queer people, trans people or people of color and tries to make their lives worth any less than anyone else’s. I don’t want a world where some keep others down by pathologizing their existences. I don't want a world where existence carries a debt. don’t want a world where slavery still exists, where it is helped via our prisons, schools, class divisions and broken justice systems. I don’t want a world where one person or group’s success story becomes the cue that everything is coming up roses. I don’t want a world where money is a right to life. I don’t want a world where migrants are denied refuge in a place that had complicity in the violence that they flee from. I don’t want a world where our children become criminalized from a young age on a basis of their color and/or ethnicity. I don’t want a world where our countries forget the roots of their origins. I don’t want a world where our countries deny immigrants humanity, even after they have proven themselves to be worthy “citizens.” I don’t want a world where anyone dies by the hands of another human being.

I want a world where people have the right to breathe next to each other as people. I want to live with love because it is the most beautiful thing we have — the most beautiful kind of safety. Everyone should have the right to leave this world, knowing that there is joy and love in it.

I want anger to be useful, to come from that love. I don’t want to live in a world with amnesia. If that means living with a heavier step, I would rather do that than go through the planet blind. I know things are complicated, but I would rather live knowing the complications than be complicit, even if my power is so limited.

I don’t know what to do but say this. Maybe if everyone does something small, then it will help. Centuries of history and deep politics work against us. I’ve been feeling down, and yet I am reminding myself there is good here.

OK. Small steps. Time to work.