Life is scary right now. It's filled with anxiety, fear, and anger. I feel guilty even writing this but, for me, life has become radio silent. I haven't talked to many people or gone many places, which isn't totally out of the norm for me. The silence has forced me to jump into the trenches and deal with all the baggage I've ignored for years. It's also allotted me time to sit with my thoughts and digest the climate and current state of our country.
My parents lovingly raised me to speak up and stand strong in my convictions. I’ve taken their guidance and mixed in two things: my intuition that has never failed me, and not giving a f*ck what anyone thinks of me. I highly recommend both.
I have been trying to find the right words, but I don't think I will ever find them so here is glimpse into my heavy heart as we navigate this storm.
When I was child, before I really understood the complexity of social justice and equality, I never thought that I saw color. I acknowledge my privilege in saying this and I now realize that this statement is as naive and blissfully unaware as childhood. We need to see color. We need to listen, understand, and unite. Acknowledge our role, whatever that may be. Acknowledge our shortcomings. Have honest conversations, with ourselves and with others, no matter how uncomfortable they may be. We must educate ourselves and learn from mistakes, which is is a privilege in itself rather than experiencing it first hand.
Speaking as a white individual, I sometimes feel a sense of guilt advocating for a cause that I have never and will never fully understand. Because of the color of my skin the fear of being judged, arrested, wrongfully accused or imprisoned, or even running down my road has never crossed my mind. But I would rather feel that sense of guilt and speak up than remain complacent, as complacency is actively hurting our friends, family, neighbors, and community members.
In the midst of a global health crisis, we’re also being hit by an ethical virus. One fueled by hatred and ignorance, neither of which can be cured by a vaccine and must be met head on. Although I’ve only lived 26 years of this lifetime, I’ve never experienced an America like this.
An America where white men get to storm a state capital with rifles and return home a few hours later with their egos in tow while a black man gets shot for exercising.
An America where people are losing their soulmates, children, parents, and best friends to a virus while a many can’t even be bothered to wear a mask or stay home.
An America that values weapons over the safety of children.
An America that is so divided- ethically, culturally, racially, and politically.
The selfless and fearless men and women who fought so hard for peace, freedom, and love are looking down on this country with tears in their eyes and a sense of longing in their hearts.
Today’s America is not the place to be silent. In today’s America, you've got to pick a side and if you don't you're contributing to the problem, so I pray that you pick the side of unity and love.
My hope is for a new normal, because our old normal was not working. I hope that we all come out of this pandemic a little kinder. I hope that we stand for something, and that that something makes the world a better place. I hope that we slow down and ditch the idea that busy equates to success. And I hope that we have love in our hearts for those that we resonate with and respect for those that don't.