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It is that kind of gentle but firm softness in the power of comfort, compromise, caregiving, with a determined focus on nourishing, sustainability, developmental appropriateness, holding space and grace to meet people where they are and provide humane supports.

It is difficult to bear witness to the reality of not valuing, of not cherishing PowerSoftnesses.

(in my humble yet arrogant unsolicited opinion)

We have tapped out our educators at all levels having been dismissive at best pre-COVID, now devolved to vitriol.

We have tapped out our healthcare workers at all levels.

We have tapped out our grocery, gas station, restaurant etc workers.

We have tapped out our librarians, first responders, and other public servants.

We have tapped out parents, grandparents, caregivers.

Our cultural values don’t allow for appreciating these critical roles in our society, other than occasional lip service or *clap, clap, clap* or perhaps a pizza luncheon. All of which, frankly, resonate like praising a dad for “babysitting” his own children or “helping” to clean the dishes *insert generous eye roll,* whilst internally judging the mom who came up so lacking that she needed “babysitting” or “help.”

*sigh* that’s how we do

as a culture – not as individuals, of course (natch)

As individuals we:
Advocate for our educators and staff through letter writing, encouragement, and voting power
Listen to healthcare experts, science, are respectful, get ourselves vaccinated, and vote.
Make humane eye contact with all interactions to the helpers/servers/healers/teachers/encouragers etc, tip generously (as we are able), volunteer for the organization, clean-up after ourselves, recognize innate humanity and right to dignity, use grace and courtesy, and vote.
Recognize and publicly acknowledge that in order to keep our current economy working we are relying on unpaid or severely underpaid caregivers by counting on their compassion to override our responsibility to them, and vote. 
Use grace and courtesy with these recognitions, and then we vote.

We are the lucky ones who get a choice, not only by our thoughts and actions, but also by engaging with our opportunity and choice to vote.

On the Rashida Jones “Ask Big Questions” podcast (the episodes are about a year old), one of their science expert guests commented that the number one way we all impact climate change is by voting. This kind of power awestruck me in a pivotal thinking way. I am a voter. I have voted in every election I could since I turned 18. I love voting and celebrate every time I get to vote from which fundraisers to approve on our local school council to national presidential elections. But have I payed attention and voted what truly has matched my conscience? Or, have I voted by public relations rhetoric? I suspect a mixture until midterm elections during President Obama’s first term when I recognized my essential need for my own deep pivot. I do not worship any leader or politician. They are human people doing human things on varying levels of the human scale of emotion, action, and thought. While I do not worship any ideology, I do make every effort to use my votes in support of those things where humane choices are at the forefront and Powersoft things are acknowledged and valued.

(insert rant on how we approach parenting, educating, healing, nourishing – too much for my squishy brainiac at the moment)

The essence of my soul knows that without the soft powers, we do not exist (whether acknowledged or not). I would Iike to be part of the nudge to humanity that the soft powers are worth culturally recognized value.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about as well as how to not abandon my post. Not my blog post – I mean my post as in carrying on with whatever I am responsible for doing (from my bolt-hole apparently and YES this noun is funny to me also I seem to be more of the female Mr Fox in that scenario). Although I do abandon blog posts regularly. Blogger fail CHECK. I know, posting posts are not the point – it is an outlet for my being. Thank you for bearing witness and space for that. I am restless with grief and I suppose this is how it blooms.

I appreciate you. How are you?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I stopped at Chipotle as a crutch last night to grab dinner for SonHerisme and myself (MotherHerisme was Panera-ed up, don’t worry!), having app ordered for pickup. The place was packed. I could not move through the store to the pickup shelves without bumping through people. Less than half of us were masked in this packed place. Only 1 table had anyone eating inside – the rest of us were waiting to order food or picking up app orders. The orders seemed to be running about 30 minutes behind the app time. The staff were nonstop efficient superfast motion, and looked very exhausted and stressed as people began complaining about their wait time. It hurt my heart for everyone. I sent an extra $$$ tip along with prayers for peace, comfort, empathy, patience and compassion. WHAT are we doing? I’m so sorry Chipotle people. I’m so sorry frustrated customers. I’m so sorry children watching. What are we? The collapse still hasn’t hit, I suppose. *sigh* Everyone is trying so very hard and carrying so much. Too much. Or? Maybe it was an off night and I am annoyingly sensitive. Anyway – I send out more compassion, Chipotle. SonHerisme adores you and I wish you all of the positive things with the resilience and beauty of the flowers to all (grumpy customers as well).

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