Thoughts from a Friend

To my dearest Ninjas,

I’ve been asked to share some thoughts with our tribe and, if at all possible, offer a glimmer of solace in a very challenging moment.

I’ll start by saying, at first I was reluctant to write you.

I feel nervous and unsure if I’m equipped to offer anything helpful. Or if it’s even my place.

I’ve never been more scared or felt more vulnerable writing you all. Because part of me is afraid you’ll think my sentiments are stupid or inappropriate or clumsy or reflective of my privilege.

I’d also like to acknowledge our community is defined by its breadth of humanity, and I do know we have a diversity of political beliefs in the Ninja Army.

But I know many of us are deeply concerned about what yesterday may mean for many Ninjas and our loved ones. I count myself in that number.

If I can offer any bit of emotional support in this historical moment, I believe it’s my moral obligation to speak up, however imperfect my words may be.

So after some consideration (and prodding), I felt compelled to at least try.

Not as your Mommy/ Boyfriend.

Not as the owner of a business you frequent.

And certainly not as a leader in our whimsical unicorn cult.

But instead, as your friend Mark, who like you is hurting and a bit unsure how to react.

So I offer this to you purely to share my thoughts for how I’m handling it in case it may be useful for your own process.

Whenever something like this happens, I try to focus on what I know to be true:

1. “The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sadly, the story of human history is one of strife. And while we’ve made progress, our community knows full well how far we have to go.

And the nature of virtually every natural system is that progress is never linear, but in spirals and cycles.

I don’t mean to make light of the very real human costs of these steps back.

But I do believe a careful study of humanity (and particularly the past couple hundred years) suggests we continue to creep slowly, imperfectly, and painfully towards a better future.That said…

2. It’s ok to not be ok.

This still fucking sucks.

It’s ok to be grieving. And angry. And sad and hurt and confused.

This is scary shit. It’s ok to be where ever you are. And if you need to talk about it, the good news is you have a whole Clubhouse full of Ninjas. That’s a lot of shoulders to lean on and cry on.

What we can’t say out loud takes our power.

Follow your heart as to where and how to express your pain appropriately.

And know that at the very least, the Clubhouse is a safe space for unicorn magic and existential dread alike.

3. Our strength is always going to be in each other.

Many in our community are rightfully frightened about very real ramifications this could have on their lives. On the legal rights and the safety of themselves and their loved ones.

While I can’t pretend that our unicorn vortex can single handedly overthrow some major systemic problems in our society, I DO know we can model the change we want to see in the world.

We can look out for each other. Keep each other in the know. Listen to each other, learn from each other, and hug the fucking shit out of each other.

And when it’s time, rise up and take action, shoulder to shoulder.

4. Kindness to each other is more important now than ever.

We’re all dealing with this in our own way.

It’s going to be natural to be frustrated in moments for any number of reasons; and we may feel upset and want to invalidate the way someone else is processing this.

That’s completely normal. But I do think the more kindness and space we can give each other, the better off we’ll all be.

(And if someone does snap at you, do your best to appreciate their hurting too.)

Feel your feelings. Feel them all.

Feel them clear and hard and true.

And in time…

When you’re ready…

5. Take the action you think is appropriate to make our planet, our country, and our community a better place.

There will be a different answer for each and everyone of you. And it may not be today. It may not be for several weeks.

But I do believe in my heart the cure for anxiety is always action.

It could be small. It could be a bit more patience, a bit more understanding, and a bit more kindness for someone in a tough spot.

It could be getting more involved in our political process.

Hell, it could be running for office.

But ultimately, we all have a part to play in leaving a better world for the next generation.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

I don’t pretend to have all the answers.

And I don’t want any of this to suggest I’ve got it “figured out.” Because I don’t.

But I believe in this community. I believe in the Grand Unicorn Experiment and what it stands for.

And I believe in you.

And I believe we can all stand by this truth:

Until ALL of us are free, NONE of us are free.

We’re not there yet.

And we may not get there in our lifetimes.

But we’re not done yet either.

Not by a long shot.

Onward,

Mark

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