2 min read

Burden and joy

Burden and joy

Originally published March 19, 2021

Joy and burden tangle together. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. First in the realms of writing and parenthood. And then in the wake of the hate crime in Georgia.

The dots

  • Parenting is a joy and a burden
  • Writing (or any endeavor that dips into creativity) is a joy and a burden
  • One of the worst things to do to a person, a community, is to receive joy from them and then tell them they are a burden when they’re in need
  • A hate crime is a hate crime

The fragmented connections I’m making:

In parenting and in writing, if I’m consistently feeling burdened it’s not an indictment against parenting or writing, it’s a prompt. It’s a message telling me to look at myself, my support system, my project. Maybe I need more (or different) support, maybe I need to start something new.

The burden, in parenting and writing, grows if there is no support on the family, community, and/or system level. Each family, community, and system ought to be figuring out how to support their members so that their work (as a parent, as a writer) can be joyful.

In the aftermath of the hate crime in Georgia, I saw the refusal to take responsibility for what it was by the police, by the media, by white individuals. This refusal tells Asian-Americans that their care and safety is a burden. Shying away from the wretched truth, or gaslighting, tells Asian-Americans they have no support in us.

There is an urgent need to show Asian-Americans that their care and safety isn’t a burden by taking as much responsibility as possible — for my actions, for my close community’s actions, for the actions of white people at large.

Consider joining me in signing up for a free bystander intervention training and/or donating to Support the AAPI Community Fund. (If you have more resources to share, please post them in the comments.)

Again, one of the worst things to do to a person, a community, is to receive joy from them and then tell them they are a burden when they’re in need.

I’m sending love to you right now, and hope you are being well taken care of by your closest circle.

—Devin