Beauty In All Things · Inner Beauty

Break the Silence, Create the Change

break the silence

It’s with a heavy heart that I write this post, so totally shook to the core on the total devastation currently affecting our country. My goal is to commit to break the silence, create the change.

I am committed to figuring out just how I do this, and recognize it’s not going to be a single change that will make a difference. As with everything, change is created after a series of actions occur. In this case, prior to the actions, I’m committed to educating myself. To finding and spreading the truth of why the change needs to occur. I have been spending time understanding just how we got here. What happened so many years ago and just last week, the history that shaped where we are today. Without understanding we can’t fully commit to change.

“No one is  born hating another person because of his skin, his background, or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes naturally to the human heart, where hate does not”. I am committed to equality, inclusivity, and celebrating diversity. I will continue to speak my mind, and speak up for what I believe in. Beauty starts from within and change does too.

It is not ok to stay silent. It is not ok to watch others discriminate and to not stand up for those being discriminated against. If we are silent, if we blindly turn our eyes away, we are the problem. Unity by silence is not the way forward. We cannot be silent anymore.

A Time For Change

I started this by listening to our Pastor Carl Lentz interview Bishop TD Jakes yesterday during Sunday service at Hillsong East Coast. The church is all now virtual, so everyone can watch.

Check out the YouTube channel and yesterdays service here, which fully details just how we got where we are today. Privilege started a long time ago. This video chillingly shows how despite everything being “equal” at the onset of our lives, in a very short time, things change for some that don’t change for others. When the race begins, we are clearly not all on the same starting line. The playing field is most certainly not equal. This is not to say the people who started further ahead should feel ashamed, they did not do anything wrong. But it is wrong to not acknowledge the significant challenges that those starting behind have to overcome. The hope they have to hang onto, to finish the race. The increased fight they have to have, to try to win. Watch this video highlighting how privilege changes your baseline, and to be incredibly moved.

Let me also say that I recognize there is a giant systemic problem facing our nation, and like many, I feel frustrated and yet somewhat helpless at the same time. At the root of it all, we are all human beings. Despite what the constitution so disgustingly said, we are all deserving, regardless of the color of our skin.  George Floyd was a human being, and he was treated like so much less.

Bishop TD Jakes gave another great example. If you have a drug problem in one part of Chicago you go to jail. But if you have a drug problem in another zip code in Chicago you have a sickness and go to rehab. You’re treated with empathy. These kinds of inconstancies have to be addressed with grace and truth.

Violence Is Not the Answer

It’s important first to address why the violence is where it is. At the core, we should be able to be loved in the skin we’re in. Black, white, asian, hispanic, gay, straight, rich, poor, we are all human, we are all the same. We all love our children the same, and we’re all feeling this large devastation and magnitude of suffering. What’s happening is a direct result of a spiritual and cultural pandemic that has existed in America since the foundation. But history isn’t as far back as we’d all like to think. For years, we’ve been complicit, participant, and silent.

Then add the pandemic, economic situation, 3 consecutive murders over past 10 days. It’s hard. Especially coming out of quarantine and seeing over 100,000 people die from this pandemic. Tensions are high. The anger is based on multiplicity.

But violence is not the answer. History has taught us that. We have to peel back the defensive layers and start to hear. We have to start to listen again. There are more kind open passionate people than the opposite, and it’s time to show improvement.

Choosing Faith, Love, and Forgiveness Over Hate

For me, there is no better time than now to choose faith. To look to the Lord and follow his grace and acceptance. If we see people as God does, the Lord does not look at appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We look away when things look ugly. Our silence is abuse. But Jesus did not come and walk away. Had the courage and boldness to speak up and speak out. Crawling out from the familiar to the exceptional to the uncertain. That’s when faith is forming. At the end of the day, Jesus never compromised truth for grace.

This is an issue about respect for human life. As the Bible said, “God so loved the WORLD” not white people or black people or Democrats or republicans. We need to recognize people by who they are. The character in their heart not by color of their skin, their sexuality, their income status, etc. There are areas of our lives that need reconstruction. We cannot lie about it and cannot let it grow unchallenged in our hearts. I pray that God gives us all the courage to break our silence of injustice. The courage to against the crowd. The courage to make a change and unite as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.

Embracing + Creating Change

Change happens when we make other peoples problems our problems. As Dr. Martin Luther King said “Darkness cannot drive away darkness, only light can do that”. We have to unite to fix the problems. We have to unite with light, to drive away the darkness in a way that will create positive change. We have to remove our prejudices. We have to stand in solidarity. Hope is a powerful thing, and it will propel us to make a change.

Raising Children to Make a Difference

We too, find it terrifying to bring a child into this world today. In a world with so much unrest and uncertainty. Along with this sense of fear, however, comes a sense of empowerment. We can change the future by educating and supporting this next generation. We can teach our children to be different.

I promise to teach my children to stand up against racism, to not judge anyone by the color of their skin. To have love and compassion for others. To lead by example. I promise to teach them to be LOUD. To use their voice. To be a leader. I’ll teach them to love, looking past color, sexuality, socioeconomic status, religion and all of the other differences we should celebrate, not condemn. I promise to raise my children the right way, having the hard conversations so that they feel capable of having them too. I promise to raise them to see the good in others and in themselves, and to fight each day to make a difference.

What We Can Do

So what can we do? Today, tomorrow, and forevermore? First, give people grace who are new to the game. They’re coming in now. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed for history that wasn’t you. When you break the silence and stop allowing the black issue to be a black issue and be an American issue that will cause change.

Here are a few immediate things to help us be the force of change and take action. Though we do not understand, we can stand, we can change. In addition below, I found this list of 75 Things You Can Do For Racial Justice on Medium, incredibly helpful.

Sign the petition for George Floyd:

Sign here to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved fired and for charges to be filed immediately. Text “Floyd” to 55156.

Educate Ourselves:

So much of the hate, violence, and rioting, comes from a lack of understanding. We can all do better, we have to do better, and I commit myself to learning more. I loved the below books and Podcast from Goop Below on how to broaden and deepen our education of these critically important issues.

Listen: The Goop Podcast with Layla Saad New York Times–bestselling author of Me and White Supremacy. White supremacy may not be something you’ve chosen, says Saad, but it’s conditioned all of us in myriad ways. The critical inner work that Saad inspires can be difficult and messy. “The payoff is that you get to live out your values,” says Saad.

Read: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo addresses the part we play. It questions us, to think we know about racism, the conversations we avoid having, and the roles we (sometimes unintentionally) play in inequality. On the Other Side of Freedom, by author, civil rights activist, host of Pod Save the People, and cofounder of Campaign Zero, DeRay Mckesson, helps us to make change. Check out Goops full anti-racism reading list here.

Start at Home:

Teach our families to stand against racism. The generations before us had a very different mindset, one that needs to be changed. So start highlighting the power of diversity, inclusivity, and equality with your family and friends. The jokes made at other peoples expense have to stop. Stand up and speak loud for what you believe in.

Donate to a cause that matters:

The George Floyd Memorial Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Vision Collective, Reclaim the Block, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund are great places to start. They also have terrific resources for education as we commit ourselves to a deeper understanding.

Stand Together:

We have to work together to create and drive the change we want to see. No single person, nor single group, can create maximum impact. For maximum impact, we need to unite. We need to join forces and come together in peace, showing that people, all of the human race, can band together verses continue to divide apart.

Diversity Your Feed:

To grow you have to open your mind to hearing different points of view, seeing different things. So, follow different voices, look at difference people, celebrate and identify with someone outside of your current set. Here are some great accounts to follow: @ohhhappydani, @chrissyford@monroestelle, @rachel.cargle, @asiyami_gold, @nikkiogun (we love her @GQ), @osopepatrisse@laylafsaad@theconsciouskid (great resource for parents), @blklivesmatter@wearyourvoice@taranajaneen@colorofchange@shishi.rose@MsPackyetti, @eji_org.

I’m committed to making a change and I hope you are too. #BlackLivesMatter. We can be the change.

Break the Silence

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