Denial works until it doesn't. It is a disguise for fear, wrapped and muffled in a blanket of silence.
In 2017, the musical group Disturbed recorded and released its version of The Sound of Silence. The video is hard to watch perhaps because it is angry. Or maybe because it confronts our denial in such a straightforward manner.
Either way, it reinforces the fact that we have been silent in the face of devastating realities for far too long. As young activist Greta Thunberg says; "I want you to act as if the house was on fire...because it is."
It's not easy for me to be blunt. My professional and personal mission has been about spreading love and compassion, catching people being good, and encouraging progress and success while my clients struggle to heal and change.
But I have also been one who almost died of denial. Every aspect of my life was spinning out of control as I kept repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It took tough interventions from loved ones to finally reverse the cycle. There are harsh truths we must confront and acknowledge.
For when we are able to dismiss mass murders of school children in the name of constitutional rights, or ignore scientific evidence that climate change is threatening our existence there is little doubt that denial is driving us in silence to unimaginable disasters.
We have forsaken love for money and power.
Sacred text says a little child shall lead us. There is evidence that this is so, and all that remains is to follow. I mentioned Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old from Sweden who is boldly going where few adults seem capable. She describes her Autism Spectrum (Asperger's) as her superpower. Time magazine put her picture on its cover calling her a "next generation leader" and she has been nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Her words of wisdom are that no one is too small to make a difference. Parkland survivors and March for Our Lives young people Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, and David Hogg (among many others) continue to speak up every day, registering people to vote and calling for legislative action. They have devised "A Peace Plan for a Safer America" showing us a way to sanity. In defiance of these brave kids, adults threaten, mock, and attack them. There is nothing like honesty and decisive action that so frightens silence and denial.
Using words of The Beatitudes, here is what I have to say to these rebellious children. "You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world. How blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness." Bust our denial and challenge our silent complacency. Keep showing us the way to a world where life matters and everyone belongs.