I experience constant and unyielding street harassment. It pervades every realm of my life.
To cope I remind myself that people who harass haven’t received enough intimacy and affirmation in their lives — they have been misguided to believe that hurting other people helps them heal.
We are inundated with violence. Over saturated with critique. At every level we are encouraged to tear each other apart.
I’m trying to do something different with my life.
Recently to challenge a culture of harassment I have been practicing public affirmation. I tell passengers next to me on the train that I am rooting for them and grateful they’re alive. I tell strangers walking next to me on the street that I am glad they are trying their best and to have a great day! I try to tell as many people as possible that they matter to me and that I need them and that I am so blessed to experience their presence.
People are often shocked.
We are so much more familiar with critique than compassion, aren’t we?