Good morning! Today I come to you with a very heavy heart. I feel almost speechless over the state of my country. Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse with COVID 19, divisive politics, over 100,000 deaths in our country due to this pandemic, people out of work…. The list goes on and on. And now this! Violence in the streets, racism, looting, curfews. I personally am reeling from all of this. I am frightened. for myself, my family, the disenfranchised, the front line workers, my future grandson. I am numb with fear!
Next Tuesday we are to bring you an RX 360 workshop originally planned for the City of Tempe employees but also for the community at large. The workshop for the COT folks will now likely be pushed to the Fall due to the ‘return to work’ plans and status of the City’s offices. Our presenter was to be a National Guard member who will likely be activated in the next day or so to protect our streets. What is going on?
I don’t even know how to talk about this here with you all, for fear of talking about politics or race or injustice and how I feel about it all. Worst of all, I don’t know how to talk about this without putting my own spin on it. I am white. I am privileged. I am employed. I have a healthy family. I put dinner on the table every night and can pay my electric bill. But I am also many other things and so are all the people who are being impacted by this right now. Those who are not white or privileged or employed or healthy.
If we understand the human condition and our connection, we truly are all in this together. We need to ask ourselves what we can do! To help one another, to reach out, to give of ourselves, to take care of each other and ourselves.
As the Tempe Coalition, we are tasked to specifically help our youth and community here in Tempe to be healthy and, particularly, avoid substance use. We are tasked to educate, provide resources, advocate and create awareness around underage drinking and drug use. To help our youth (and community) to live to their full potential. How do we do that in the midst of this unfathomable crisis we find ourselves in? I ask you! What can we do? This is not rhetorical. I want to know how we shift gears and address this. Our Tempe, our country, is in crisis. Our youth are in crisis. We are in crisis! What can we do?
Please stay safe out there today. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.