So…there is this very wise man, a kick-ass athlete and all around righteous dude by the name of Bruce Dannan. He offered the above quote at the tail end of a Zoom meeting on May 16, 2020, that was hosted by Rob, Dan & Diana. The meeting was about the future of RADD, the plans to close the doors of its location at 220B Glen Cove Avenue, and continue with its online presence….at least for now…and for a while….until new doors open whenever and wherever that may be.
So while this news was met with some concern and worry and a sense of loss & sadness (I’m not crying, you’re crying), it was also met with acceptance, adaptation, resilience and support. And, here’s the cool thing…it was met with support not only for these 3 incredible people who created this awesome thing called RADD, but I’ve also witnessed how many of us have stepped up our game in support of each other as members of RADD. Yes…support of each other.
And why is that?
Why did that happen, and why should that continue to happen?
And why should we, now more than ever before, strive to rally the troops, circle the wagons, and actually bring more people into our circle?
For me, the answer boils down to one word: Community.
Well, actually, two words: Community and Connection.
Umm, now that I think of it, actually three words: Community, Connection and Love.
The sense of Community and the feelings of Connection and Love that are associated with it…well, those are some of the basic human needs we have.
Without them, we’re alone…disconnected…isolated; those are some of the factors that contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression. They feed fear. Fear begets hate.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all of its uncertainty, forced isolation and lack of physical connection because of social distancing, there’s been a marked increase in people worldwide struggling with anxiety and depression. And with the awakening of so many of us to the need for authentic equality among all of God’s children, bringing into the fold all our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters & sons, we come to recognize that through Community, we are all interconnected through Love. It can be the antidote to fear; the antidote to hate.
Community, Connection and Love can serve as protective factors against anxiety, depression, fear and hate. And guess what, my friends? We, as members of the RADD Community have an abundance of Connection and Love.
We have the capacity to say to Anxiety “No, not today. Cause I’m gonna work out and I know I’ll feel better and feel less anxious afterwards.”
We have the capacity to say to Depression “Not you either. Cause I’m gonna connect with family and friends. My sense of belonging and love can help me overcome this sadness I feel.”
And we have the capacity to say to Fear & Hate “No, there is nothing to fear or hate. Certainly not from others, because once they are in our Community, we can all know Love.”
So it falls upon each of us to nurture and grow our Community, to strengthen our sense of Connection and Love for one another. We owe it to our Community. We owe it to RADD. We owe it to ourselves.
And yes, Bruce Dannan, you’re absolutely right.
RADD is not a location; it’s in all our hearts.
Ernie Ponce, LMSW