“Irreplaceable works of art”

Dear President Trump,

It doesn’t happen all that often but over the last couple of years (yes, even before you were installed in office) I have periodically found myself pondering questions of my relative worth. Usually it is when I am doing some mundane task. I am not aware of feeling resentful of doing said task but I find myself wondering whether it is really a good use of my time in terms of the collective welfare for me to be doing dishes instead of working on a grant about alcohol problems, for example. It can also come up when I’m flying and having some anxious thoughts about things going wrong and who deserves most to live or be rescued. I don’t put myself first in that equation but rather think someone like a doctor or nurse should get priority because they have skills to save others. After I’ve “saved” the medical personnel, I do pretty quickly come to a rationale for “saving” myself ahead of random others because I have skills I could (maybe) employ in helping people stay calm in a crisis. Then there are the more common instances of self-scrutiny regarding whether I measure up, whether I’ve been a good enough girl.

This looks like my own baggage keeping me constrained and self-doubting. However, it is not actually my personal baggage; it just seems that way since all I have are my own thoughts about lack of worth and only see others’ projections of confidence. But, really, I am not alone in having bought into this conditioning that some people are more worthy than other people. Have you met Julius Goat? In his blog series, “Bubbles,” he is describing how this conditioned practice of ranking the worth of human lives leads inexorably to genocide and slavery. He started from the position that “every human being is a unique and irreplaceable work of art carrying intrinsic and unsurpassable worth” but we have contorted this reality to serve profit for a few by stacking the deck so it seems perfectly reasonable that some humans come out on top while others are crushed. The good news is that absolutely everyone, including you, is an irreplaceable work of art, and strange as it may seem right now, with your help, we are getting closer to living into this reality because it so very clear now.

May we hold each life sacred and safe.
May we commit to the pursuit of happiness for all.
May we take care of each ones’ health.
May we commit to a real equality based on the intrinsic worth of all.

Tracy Simpson

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