“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
I’ve been thinking a lot this week. Thinking. Praying. Reading. Crying. A lot of crying. And asking myself how my actions and words have contributed to the world’s turmoil. Coming face to face with those answers isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. It’s necessary if I want to be a player that contributes to the change. It’s necessary if I want to fully embrace the words that I claim to live by – “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 It’s necessary if I want to raise boys who can be strong enough to break through a world covered in sin and shame, a world that tells them they are better than, stronger than, more entitled than everyone else (POC and women) because they are white males.
When my boys are grown and raising babies of their own, I want them to lead their families with enough strength of character that they can show empathy and love to those around them. I want them to have tenderness and compassion and to share it with those in need. I want them to feel embolden enough to chase after their dreams while lifting up dreams of others around them. I want them to live in a world where they know peace and harmony and are champions for the cause. I want the world for them, but not the world we knew last week.
These goals I have for them can not and should not be theirs to learn on their own. They learn what they see and what they live with and it’s no secret that environments can shape the mindsets of the people living within them. What environment do I want my boys to see, live in and interact with daily? Those are questions I’m asking myself. How do my boys see me interact with strangers and those in need in my community? I hope it’s with love. A lot of love. Do my boys see my friendships with people of color? And what do they see? I hope they see respect and love. A lot of love. Do my boys see my action or inaction to injustices? I hope they see action and a lot of it. Do my boys see me reading and learning and that I’m open to opinions of others, even if they are not the same as my own opinions? I hope they do. I really hope they do.
There’s work to be done to change the course of yesterday, last week, and the generations of injustice and racial inequality that have shaped our today. Daily work to be done - conversations to be had, research to do, and love to give. So much love to give. I can choose to sit on the bench and wallow in my inadequacies. I can choose to be a dandelion picker and hope change and action will happen around me. Or I can choose to play.
Put me in coach – I want to play!