The world feels heavy on me right now. White supremacists on the march. An open racist in the White House. Threats of nuclear war. A callous attitude towards the poor, the ill, the poor in spirit.
When your job is about cultivating empathy, doing your work is hard. Even your best days suffer from the tinnitus buzz of a world turning hateful.
And this is as a white Christian cis dude in a liberal city. I can’t imagine how the volume has been turned up for people who aren’t me (tho, admittedly, it was probably already this loud for them.)
How do you do UX in these times? I seriously don’t know. For all the demands that designers step up and be heard, the day-to-day still needs to happen. You wade through the sorrow and push on.
I saw a tweet tonight that brought this sorrow to mind:
The response to suffering should never be theology, it should always be love
— A Jew and a Gentile (@AJewandaGentile) August 18, 2017
I think to even a non-religious person this is true. We cannot attempt to explain this hateful time, or try to rationalize our way through the pain. Our only true response is to love — those we live with, work with, and create experiences for.
And so, I choose love. I choose hope. And I choose to defy the hateful buzz in thought and in action. Because design starts with a love for the people we design experiences for and a hope that we can be better at making those experiences better today and tomorrow. And it ends with defiance — of the status quo, of a world that would rather take shortcuts, of a world that would choose to conveniently stereotype and demean and destroy other people for their own good.
Sometimes it means speaking truth to power. Sometimes it means throwing punches you never thought you’d throw. But true design, full of hope and love, is always an act of defiance.