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Don't be the worst - a survival guide

I haven’t written for 6-months since my mother died in July 2020 from complications around her cancer diagnosis. Ever so much has happened in that space from my last post to this one and I find organizing my thoughts a struggle. I hope this doesn’t persist because I have a paper due soon on chronic pain and psychological intervention efficacy.


As I sat down to dive into it today, white insurgents stormed the seat of U.S. democracy during a dual session of the House and Senate. They killed a woman. They broke windows. They forced an evacuation. Bombs were found and disarmed. It was deeply disturbing to me as a person who grew up with the notion that democracy prevails. Look how fragile it really is. It was metaphorically learning my parents are fallible humans all over again.


This world isn’t fair. Life has some really deeply disturbing experiences. And yet, I continue to hold hope for the future. Survival is not based on the fittest, best, most perfect. Survival is a process of elimination, not selection. Of course, we can expect revolt as inevitable change continues and previous empires fall.


Who knows if we are heading towards better now. We can clearly see what we are walking away from.


So while I am saddened by events in my lifetime, I am not stuck in those events. I am a part of the process of change. I find my resilience in my ability to adapt. To face deep emotions and survive. To thrive not by being the best but by not being the worst.


In listening to the black community’s response to today’s news cycle, I felt ashamed and my white guilt felt deserved, but I’m reminded of a quote I cannot recall the attribution for that goes:



It’s the critic that drives change. It’s the critic that’s the optimist because they believe you can do better.



This is a chance to do better than we have been doing in so very many ways. I don’t want to waste this chance.


If you need me to tie this into how it is relevant to a Pilates practice, I can do that: Be a good human. Don’t be the worst.



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