RALPH CISSNE

Some government officials have advocated an “enemies list” be kept. What is this, a high school musical? A purity pledge inquisition?

Wait a minute. This is no time for party-shaming, revenge porn or book burning. Take a break, make peace, reboot your COVID biased cancel culture metabolism. Reimagine the ghetto veil of collectivist victimhood. Declare your independence. Retreat to the corner of your she shed or man cave or gender-neutral bathroom. Re-read Lord of the Flies, 1984 and The Bill of Rights. Seriously, stop trying to belong for all the wrong reasons. Drop the brick of hatred. Judge not. Embrace your sorrow and shortcomings. Read the tea stains. Kneel and pray. Trust your better angels, your therapist or astrological pollster. They can’t all be wrong.

Add some lavender to your diffuser. Phone a friend. Demonstrate grace and compassion. Replace that pandemic scowl. Smile with purpose to re-district the sweet ageless face of your longing inner child otherwise, by next election cycle, you may transition into an IT killer clown, bride of Chuckie clone or Sour Patch kid. Drink not from the corporate media fountain of fear and loathing. Don’t be jerked around. Trust your process. Accept responsibility for the brilliant cosmic singularity that you are. Shine on. Exercise your freedom. Speak your mind.

Be kind. Practice forgiveness. Lend a hand. Make a pilgrimage. Become a mentor. Dance in the dark. Waltz through a Zen garden. Find yourself in downward facing dog. Go to the gym. Shop local. Make a plan. Find reason to laugh. Be aware that censorship in any form is the jagged edge of the poisonous totalitarian spear. Reject groupthink as the hymnal of a soulless choir, a mandate for braindead living. You have the right to privacy, to think and love as you choose. Find your true voice. Turn down the volume. Be thoughtful. Lead by example. Occupy yourself.

What joyful gifts of creation are you willing to share? That’s the existential crisis question NPR should be asking now.