I fold the laundry at night, in front of the television. If I’m feeling brave, I watch the late-night news but sometimes Law & Order SVU re-runs are more fun.
After the last soccer uniform is put away, I should go to bed, but instead, I frantically scroll through YouTube, searching for the latest Seth Meyers segment to make me laugh at the things on the news that are starting to terrify me.
There is a growing ball of anxiety located in my chest. It’s there at night and often in the morning. It’s not about terrorism. It’s about the widening divide between power and the powerless.
Years ago, when I was a lawyer, I woke up almost every morning, feeling excited that my friends would do something useful today and I might be able to help them a little.
I knew the world was cruel. I saw my clients challenge these cruelties: domestic violence, ethnic violence, sexual violence, torture, wrongful detention, child trafficking and profound poverty. To name a few. These clients were and still are so brave. Some days were successful, many were not.
But every night, I went to bed feeling that there was still another day ahead, another opportunity to try.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I realised that my hopefulness was now laced with desperation. Whereas before, I had wanted to make the world a little better, from the moment I knew I was bringing a child into the world, I became desperate for it to be better.
A desperation born of fear. I realised I was giving children – my children – to a world that was cruel and chaotic.
LISTEN: Tell Me It's Going To Be Ok is the podcast for anyone who, like Shankari feels like they're not sure how to get through this (post continues after audio...)
I spent another decade in the law and I’m grateful for it. I like the law. I admire its aspirations, even if its execution is often imperfect. The law seeks justice and order. I like justice and order. Injustice makes me angry, chaos makes me frightened. Good laws counter absolute power. Good laws and the brave people who try to enforce them.