Divided We Stall


We're not sure if you've noticed, but the world has become increasingly divided, increasingly us vs. them. Increasingly pick-a-lane-and-stay-in-that-lane. Oh, you noticed? Then living under a rock must not be your mailing address. 


As the Supreme Court—this particular Supreme Court—surprisingly knocks down barriers, and as gender identity issues move into the bright light of pop culture, we risk turning in on ourselves. Like waves that crest after a long journey from the deep sea, only to start falling apart just as we’re reaching the shore. 


Unity is a slippery thing, a shape shifting, color-switching chameleon of a thing. A sometimes fleeting and born-of-the-moment thing. It bubbles up in the wake of tragedy and says, “We’re all in this together.” It surrounds us at milestone Big Deal celebrations, all banners and balloons, and shouts, “We’re in this together!” It lassoes tribes together when their agendas unexpectedly align and whispers, “We need each other.” But what of those in-between moments, the mundane moments, the buttering-yourtoast and taking-out-the-trash moments? It’s easy to judge, probably easier to judge than to breathe. You have to wonder, if this person is making this choice that I’m not making, it must be wrong. Right? Because otherwise I’M wrong. Right? The thing is, the more you look for shadows, the easier they are to find. Even a feather can cast a shadow. 


So instead of looking to divide, to decide who’s a “real” this or that, maybe we could spend a little time looking for the daylight? Looking for where our edges overlap instead of where they chafe. We’re only human. It’s only clothes. That’s just a haircut. It’s only makeup or a job or a label. 


The world will not end. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll be a little bit more together simply for us having had this with-all-due-respect chat while there’s still time.


—Kimberly Harrington