Assessing our Harm Footprint

I saw many posts on social media this weekend expressing frustration and anger about the irresponsibility of quarantine protesters around the country.


I, like many of you, am extremely triggered when people compromise the well-being of others, for the sake of meeting their own needs.


EXTREMELY triggered.


And yet, sadly, I am aware of how most of us do this, on a daily basis, in some form or another. It may not be in this obvious of a way or at this scope, or it may be.


The potential harm we do is related to our choices:


What we eat


What we purchase


Where we purchase it


How we drive


Where we work


The nature of our work


What we wear


How we treat one another


In other words, how we live and how we consume is a very interconnected web that has direct impact on billions of lives every day. Slave labor. Child trafficking. Sweat shops. Auto accidents. Mental health.


Hell, I can barely use our crosswalk safely most days, because drivers aren’t paying attention or just ignore the rules.


Mostly we can’t see the full impact of our daily choices. It is not as clear and obvious as it is with this virus. So, as I said earlier this week, this time period has the potentiality of increasing our empathy—our eye towards injustice.


By all means, be angry at irresponsible behavior. It’s appropriate. Then, can we use this anger we feel about others choices as a fuel for OUR current and future decisions? Can we make the small choices everyday that align with the commitment of doing less harm, even at the expense of our own comfort, convenience, budget and freedom? Can we acknowledge our individual willful ignorance? That’s how we move from powerlessness into power.


Am I condoning or defending the protesters in any way? Nope.


Am I saying that your speeding, my “fast fashion” blouse (even IF it’s second hand) or that Nestle chocolate bunny does as much harm as those protesters?


I’m saying maybe. Maybe.


Those are pretty hard metrics to track, at this point.


Mostly, I’m saying in the famous words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”





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Susan Shehata

Susan Shehata, also known as The Space Guru™, is a Mentor, Guide and Performing Artist, who specializes in helping people release hidden obstacles. She does that through Space Consultations, Holistic Wellness Services and through Music & Theatre. Though her offerings are varied, the goal of her work is the same: to clear the deep patterns of resistance in people's lives. Susan has been a professional performer for twenty years and a certified wellness professional, focusing on transformational healing and space work, for fifteen years. Her life’s mission is to use her voice as a performer, speaker, writer, healer and mentor to assist in global evolution.

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