Goodness what a week it’s been. I’m still processing and unpacking it as I write this. I admit, my regular scheduled post and video of the week got put on a pause.
There are moments in life when you get consumed with grief, anger, and frustration. This week was one of them for me. It’s obvious I’m speaking about the terrible murder of George Floyd. But I’ll be honest; it goes much deeper than that.
I was first alerted of this horrific event when I was reading about Amy Cooper and how she called the cops on a black man who was bird watching in NYC.
He asked her to put her dog on a leash in an area where dogs were required to be on a leash. She took offence to his request, telling him she will call the police to say an African American man was threatening her life. And she called.
She knew the impact of what she was saying. The potential threat of being a black male, and having the police being called on you. How possibly, based on the colour of his skin and being a male, he would already be presumed to be in the wrong.
The potential threat that could have had, not only on his livelihood, but on his life! I was already disgusted by what I was reading… and then.
I’ll be honest, I have not watched the video and I don’t intend to. Reading about it has kept me up till 1 and 2 in the morning the last few days. And so, I’m choosing to protect my energy.
I’ve had people reach out expressing their disgust and share in my anger. Many non-blacks have admitted that in their anger, they’re having a hard time finding or knowing exactly the right thing to say.
From my perspective, this past week, what has helped was when I felt heard, seen and mattered.
So if you want to reach out to someone, it would be valuable to acknowledge their pain and say:
Then hold space, support, and stand up for injustice when you see it.
It’s my belief that in order to elicit change, we need to build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. To see ourselves from the end results of what we want to be and see. To no longer be available for things that we feel are unjust.
For me, there’s been growth. I’m no longer available to tip toe around others. It’s not my work to make you comfortable in situations that calls for your discomfort in order for you to grow and build a better model. This is applicable in all areas of our lives.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. But what I do know, is that I'm committed to building a new and better model. I am devoted to it!
To build this new model starts with looking in the mirror and asking...
- What’s here that I’m not seeing?
- What part can I have in building this new model?
- What unconscious beliefs do I have that may be contributing to the old model?
- What would Spirit have me do?
Sit with these questions. The answer will come.
The answer might just be the push to reach out and say to someone, ‘I see you. I hear you. What you’re feeling matters to me.’ And listen.
If anything comes up that causes you discomfort; stay with the discomfort for a moment without defending. Be open to beautiful teachable moments that are always available, if you allow it.
I’ll be staying in my silence this week. Being open to any teachable moments that's available to me. The truth is, it's always available.
And the last thing I want to ask is... will you use your ‘voice’?
The next time you see someone or something that contradicts with respect for humanity, will you be brave enough to call attention to it? It’s not the big things, but the little things that adds to this seemingly insurmountable issue we face as a human race.
I admit, this past week I was tired. Exhaustingly tired. But giving up in NOT an option. There's too much at stake.
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