I have a confession. I used to think I was better than other people. I don’t want to say I was ever a racist, but I might have been. It’s hard not to be when you grow up under the guise of white privilege in the United States. My confession: I had little understanding for those who were different from me. And I didn’t need to – I never stepped out of my realm of convenience (my bubble). My life was good. I attributed that goodness to something I had done; but the truth is there is nothing I could have ever done that would explain the level of status to which I was born.
This is a fact of being a white person in America. You believe you’re just a little bit better than everyone else.
Racism, intolerance, bigotry, masochism: all nasty beasts that are alive and well and living among us in our boardrooms, our classrooms, our church pews. They hide in plain site within our hearts. They seek out others with the same mindset as not to rock the proverbial boat within our paradigm.
What is being unveiled in our country right now concerning race and intolerance is disturbing and heartbreaking. I’m sad for our country, but mostly I’m sad for the state of our human hearts and the hatred that still exists between us.
The truth is most of us hate on some level.
We are intolerant of those who are different.
We are apathetic when the rights of others are being violated.
We tell ourselves another person’s intolerance is not about us – it has nothing to do with us – we might say it doesn’t matter.
But it matters – when we hate, it matters. And when we love, it matters.
Because we are all connected.
I don’t hate the haters. Mostly what I hate is the level of suffering we allow in our hearts. And the pain we find acceptable to sit in; which spills out all over everyone else.
Love will be the only thing that fixes us. And to really love, you must seek to understand – to know and be known.
This is harder than hate, of course. Love requires more emotionally – it requires us to dig deep.
Ignorance is easy; so is apathy. Same goes for indifference.
But seeking to understand is something different altogether – it takes evolution and seeing beyond one’s own pain. Seeking to understand and to accept the differences in each other takes heart and it requires us to know and accept ourselves -for most times the things we think we hate about someone else are the very things we hate about our own humanity.
But when you know better, you do better and I want to do better, much better than those who came before me. I want to love others and see them as equals. I want to be aware of how I hate people individually and on a societal level. I don’t want to be afraid to talk about equality.
Standing up takes courage. Love takes courage – so does change.
Change begins with me – it begins with you, one choice at a time.
Let's not be afraid.