And this is New York City. Shouts, honks, and whistles aren’t what you would call uncommon. But, when I walked out into the street, I saw a river of people flooding down 110th. It was the NYC AIDS Walk.
And it was moving to me, this river of people flooding down 110th Street, whistling and shouting a togetherness that can feel so distant in this age of computers and cellphones and gadgets that keep us connected from a distance. Here, today, people are together up close.
Sightseeing double-deckered tour buses wait patiently as the river pours past cross streets in front of them, passengers on the top giving raucous standing ovations and blowing kisses to the river that beams and waves back.
And it keeps flowing. I’ve been sitting at a coffee shop for twenty minutes and, only now, has it even begun to show signs of thinning. And I know it’s been going on for some time before I first approached the river. People of all colors and creed and it keeps coming. It keeps moving. And even if there were no donations attached to this river, it would still be moving. To know this many people care. This many people want something meaningful, this many people walk in honor and remembrance of so many others who wanted that something and did not find it. This is it. This is unity. This is a strength that we forget.
Just last night, I expressed to a friend an uneasiness with the strange feeling of complacency that so frequently emanates, that fixes its gaze on the paparazzi of flashbulbed distractions. And it’s hard to know what to do in all this madness. Too much is happening. What can we do? How can you fight when there’s so much happening that you feel like you are drowning?
And, if you are lucky enough to wake up and stumble upon a gathering of hope, of pride, like today than you will understand. You will see and (what’s more important) you will feel that we need only pick one. People want to be better. People can be better. Pick one and you will understand that you are not alone, that you need not drown. That we can, just as easily, float. And we will. We will float. We will flow.
Together, we can flood busy streets and halt the traffic of blue-toothed drivers shouting to their far-off stockbrokers.
Breathe in deep, my friends.
We are the change.
Originally Posted On Facebook.