I can remember the summer afternoons spent with cousins laughing and playing and sometimes fussing at each other. When the noise would get to a certain level, my grandmother would make her appearance and ask, “What are you all carrying on about?” She meant why were we fussing with each other, but I like the phrase carrying on more.
Carrying on means that we are continuing a conversation or a thought. It means not giving up (even when you are fussing with someone else) and it also means that you are so passionate about something that you simply can’t let go of it.
When she would intervene, we would each get a chance to say our piece. We had to be quiet while the other person spoke. We had to listen instead of trying to talk over the other person.
Over the past week, we have all been carrying on with our lives; going to the carpool line and the grocery store even as we hear the stories of people’s lives completely changing in Ukraine. We have been carrying on continuing conversations and thoughts. We carry on with our own worldview scared of how seeing things from a new perspective would change us. We carry on forgetting that even though we are only one person, we are still one person who can reach out to people in need.
Maybe it’s time for us to stop carrying on, even just for a minute, and be quiet. Maybe it’s time to really listen to what other people are experiencing and what it’s like for your whole life to be turned upside down in one night. Because if we were to truly listen to the stories and experiences, maybe we couldn’t carry on anymore.
Maybe then we would stop carrying on with our own thoughts and opinions and instead begin caring more.