I’ve had lots of friends calling, texting, and posting things to check on me asking, “how do you feel?” “Are you OK?” I don’t know how to answer the questions that my friends have asked honestly other than to just say, “I think I’m OK.” In all this chaos, I am trying to find some solace. A point of peace in a world that is yelling back at me.
As I’ve had some time to reflect on how I’m really doing, I feel lost because on one hand, I’m angry that it took this long for people to realize that minorities are being mistreated and disrespected, instead of being respected as human beings. But on the other hand, I am glad that communities are coming together and taking this issue head on. I am trying to move forward in a community that feels different, emotionally, mentally, and physically, to find a way to start to create the change. Starting this change begins with me. Understanding that this process of truly seeing people, not just their color, will be a difficult for most. But in my mind, I will continue to be an example for my kids, friends, and community.
I don’t feel that in this day and age, after our ancestors fought with their lives to give us such freedoms, that we should take any of what’s happening lightly. There’s no possible way for me to feel anything other than just OK, when uncertainty settles in for my sons, for my father, for my husband, for my friends, and for the Black community as a whole. Nobody knows what the correct emotion or words should be. We are all in a mental fog from all past pain and present level of brutality. How is one to feel?
There’s never been a time more so than now when I’ve been this thankful for white people that are standing with us! Some have been lost for so long or have turned a blind eye, but now the time has come where people are not let wrongdoings be done in the dark. They are finally really seeing what that looks like when you don’t speak up, and how that silence affects this process of making sure that Black lives do matter.
This will raise an eyebrow or two, but I believe that the lives of the officers matter as well because not all cops are bad cops. The system needs fixing and that takes work. In all the darkness of disunification, we need to find some type of unity and have an ongoing, in-depth conversation because both sides have strong points that they want to get across. But until we truly take the time to not just listen with our ears but listen with our hearts, and actually learn that while it’s not wrong to have a difference of opinion, we need to find a common ground of decency, respect, and compassion for one another.
We’re not all the same, that’s what makes our world unique. We all have different points of view, but at the end of the day, we should strive to learn to respect one another, and love one another and help our neighbors. I can remember a time as a kid living in what people call “the projects” that our neighbors helped one another out. Somebody didn’t have what they needed to complete a meal, and a neighbor who had what was needed gave it to them. Then we put it together, invited more neighbors, and we all made a meal for the entire street because our community was looking out for one another.
That’s what is missing in our society today. Everybody is so focused on their own lives and getting to where they need to get to that they’re willing to step on someone to get there. We’ve accepted this for far too long. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, that is what the Bible teaches us in Matthew 22:39.
Where we go from here?
Well, I don’t have all the answers, but what I know for me is that I am looking to have honest conversations. When we get to the raw and real issues, we then can join in an understanding. But until we can get ourselves in a position of taking down our guard and letting the other one in, we’re gonna be stuck in the same cycle of power, pain, and regret.
I pray as mothers ourselves, we can be the start of having conversations with other moms about racism and many more issues that will affect our children in the future. Honesty and humbleness will truly help shape the next generation. Our children look to us for compassion and for answers. If we can start having hard, thoughtful conversations mother-to-mother, human to human, love to love, I think all of our children have a fighting chance.