Yesterday, I reached out to a dozen fellow humans➀ with three questions. COVID-19 was the topic of two of them. I’ll post those answers tomorrow. The third question was one I never imagined asking: “With all the hatred, violence, anger, and pain our country is experiencing, how do we move forward and make a difference?” The following are some of their responses.
(I’ve shortened and paraphrased as necessary, due to length, and eliminated overt political references.)
• “My most serious concern is how our nation will move forward. We’ve become a socially, politically, and racially divided society, which will make us vulnerable to outside influencers who wish to destroy our way of life. Weak and misguided political leaders further compound the problems. Who will stand up to the powers of extreme wealth and narrow-minded conservatism? Who will guide us back toward a path of cooperation, collaboration, and equality for all Americans? When will we realize that when marginalized groups suffer needlessly, we all suffer?”
• “Stop and think before acting/reacting…. exhibit sympathy and empathy where needed….live a Christ-led life.”
• “Martin Luther King Jr. brought people together and created change through peaceful protesting. If the response becomes violent—the message gets lost. Police abusing their power need to be punished under the law. Looters and rioters destroying their communities…need to be punished under the law. Fear is the greatest enemy. Education is the key. Racism is a learned behavior, taught to our children in the home; it needs to stop. Media needs to be put on a leash; it drives much of the drama and problems. Politicians need to have salaries, benefits, and perks minimized; they only serve their own agenda. Terms of the seats in Congress need to be revised and limited. Terms of the Supreme Court justices need limits. Nothing changes when our politicians are divided. School curriculums should teach history, social injustice, diversity, and tolerance in every class. All races should stand side by side in peaceful protest, congregations, and communities. Religious leaders should teach about their faith to others and invite outsiders in. How else can we alleviate the fear than by replacing it with knowledge?”
• “To move forward, we must start by praying to God, advising us on how to start. Care about others instead of just ourselves, listen to their hopes and desires. Working together with a planned path will certainly help us start.”
• “Loving others, appreciating differences and seeing through the lens of those who are less fortunate than me. I can reach out to my neighbor and offer a smile, a meal, a wave during this time of division. I will continue to PRAY for peace, justice, and EQUALITY for ALL as we move forward through this time of unrest. God help us all.”
• “With all the hatred and violence, it’s good to keep a level head, have faith and help others when possible. Know people are going to have issues, have compassion. Help them get their feet on solid ground again.”
• “I resist proposing anything that involves or requires a “we,” although I will cooperate to move in a positive direction. I will concentrate on having original thoughts, and if necessary, use words. I will be generous with my resources and build up others. I spend time each day supplementing my attitude with motivational writings, positive energy, and humor.”
• “Programs that attempted to foster better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve have been dismantled. I don’t know how to un-do the divide in our society, but I feel it will take someone like Martin Luther King to coordinate a more peaceful approach to the protest movement and bring people together… one who can speak to our common humanity and somehow bridge this awful divide. But, I am not sure that’s possible, because depending on which TV stations people watch, they really feel strongly about the truth of any given situation, and their truth stands in direct opposition to the one established on the other side.”
• “I would like to think we will learn some things and move forward differently…time will tell.”
• “We have to do things differently (and honestly, I don’t even know how to do that). I became so very aware of the extent of the white bubble I live in. I’ve grown up in a bubble, I’ve raised my kids in a white bubble, I currently live in a white bubble. I’m not proud of this, it’s just what I know. I’d like to think I can be part of a change movement, but I don’t even know how to start.”
• “I’m not sure there is one way to move forward. We keep hearing we are a divided nation, but I see more unity, even in the BLM movement; it seems people are feeling more empowered to stand up for the injustices because they are feeling more vulnerable. This virus has shown us safety is an illusion, and we need each other. And we really are stronger together.”
I do not understand judgment based on the language we speak, who we love or the color of our skin. I am heartbroken. I am afraid for those I love who don’t look like me. I’ve been aware of overt stares when I’m with people who have darker skin than me. I wanted to believe that prejudice and hate was a rarity. I was naive. I was wrong. I apologize for my ignorance. I want to believe that love wins. I pray for all of us. Please help us, God.
➀ n.b. Typically, when I receive input from others, I note their first names in the post. Because of the sensitivity of this topic, they will remain nameless.
Please help spread the word of peace full home® and invite your friends to our peace-filled conversations. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment and let me know what you’re thinking. If you comment, please check the box so that you get my response. Thank You!