“No man is an island.” – John Donne
That poem/song keeps running through my head. We are all one. We are all in this crazy life together. Damage done to one is damage to all. Why can’t we see that – yet – still? I’m still traumatized by last week’s event, how much more so are my black friends, our black brothers and sisters?
One of my black friends, who is pregnant and understandably terrified for her unborn child, asked me yesterday if I would be willing to stand up and protect her child if that child was in my care. I gulped and said “yes, of course” because I love her and I love her child. I realized as I said it that I could possibly be putting my life and my safety on the line in doing so… and it brought home to me in spades how much she and other black people live with that EVERY DAY… simply because of the color of their skin. I honestly can’t imagine that.
We think we are making progress… and then George Floyd happens, then Amy Cooper happens… and we see once again that we have not come as far as we think. It must stop with us, now, with our generations who have fought so hard for equality on so many fronts.
It’s going to take more than marches and protest. It’s going to take more than legislation and accountability, although those things will help.
What it’s really going to take is personal commitments to build relationships with trust and truth on the most fundamental level. So that we really get that we are all one.
I am blessed by having several very wise and loving black friends who I trust and love and can have honest conversations with. They enrich my life. In fact, I am blessed by having a diverse group of friends with different viewpoints and experiences. They all enrich my life.
To overcome the divides that we have in this country, whether they are racial, political, religious, or other… we need to talk to one another. We need to reach out and listen, have conversations, share our viewpoints and understand one another’s experiences. That’s the only way that we can really build respect and trust.
That’s the only way that we can experience true freedom and joy.
It’s hard to hear things we don’t like or that make us afraid or uncomfortable, but it’s easier to do that than to let the violence continue.
A society without trust is a sad society indeed. Let’s start building more trust, more relationships, more love. Let’s start now. We can all be the change. We can bridge the divide between us, one brick at a time. We need to keep having the conversations and talking about it.
Who can you talk to today to broaden your own horizons and theirs? With whom can you start building trust?