June 08, 2020

Black Lives Matter

Oh what a week. A month. A year.

No one is going to deny the heaviness that has been strongly felt since what feels like the start of the year, but has increased ten fold over the last two weeks.

This past week has been heavy to say the very least. Heavy for everyone. And if you personally have not felt this to some degree, I beg you to open your eyes, and your ears, and to face the sad reality of what is and what has always gripped this nation.

This past week has been nothing short of the biggest wake up call for me personally.

The fact of the matter is that, it is not enough to be kind. To be a good person. To not be racist. Just being those things is not enough. It has never been enough. And it makes me sick to my stomach to realize it has taken me almost twenty seven years to figure that out.

What the past week has opened my eyes to is the fact that you, and I, and all of us collectively as Americans need to go above and beyond to actively work towards change in this nation.

This looks like a lot of different things, because there are a lot of different things we need to do to enact change and keep pushing progress forward. To start, it means opening up your eyes and ears. Opening your eyes & not being blind to the injustice and inequality that plagues this country. Opening your ears & listening to people of color share their lived experiences and stories. And when you are ready, opening your mouth. Opening your mouth to join the conversation and the dialogue. But more importantly opening your mouth to call out injustices and racism when you see it. It will never be comfortable to do so, but it is necessary.

And while you are opening your eyes, and your ears, and your mouth, keep doing more! If it is in your means to do so, donate. Educate yourself. Read and watch - do whatever it takes for you to keep learning. Register to vote & then get out there and do it. Share on social media. Expand the diversity of those you follow. If peacefully protesting is your thing, then do that. Just do something. Keep the conversation going. Keep doing the work. The fact of the matter is change just doesn't happen overnight and it is our responsibility to keep doing what needs to be done, so there is no other choice but for change to happen.

And you don't have to do it all. I think it would be foolish to say that each and every one of us had to do every thing just mentioned. I think it's even fair to say that would be a little inauthentic. We all have important roles to play in this and they are not all going to look the same - that is okay. It is okay as long as we are each being true to ourselves and doing something that pushes this movement forward. It's okay as long as we are making a conscious effort to learn new things and to unlearn the implicit biases. It's okay as long as we are trying. It might not always be perfect, but it's our efforts that matter. 

My thoughts and emotions have been running wild over the last couple weeks, and I've been overwhelmed with feelings of wanting to help. Of wanting to do something. These words are a start for me. Putting my thoughts on paper and writing is one of the best ways I know to express and articulate what I am thinking and feeling. It is one of my powers. If the words in this post can influence even just one person to have a change of heart, or to do something then it is a good first step in the right direction.

But, I promise it doesn't stop here at the end of all these words.

To all people of color, moving forward I promise to open my eyes, to open my ears, and to open my mouth for you. I promise to be your ally. I promise to never claim to know what you've been through because I don't. But I promise to always stand with you and to fight for you. To fight for what is right.

To anyone and everyone reading this, I hope you'll join me.

 xo. G