What continues to happen in our country HAS to change. Let me start by saying that I am not an expert or someone who really knows anything about injustice in our world. I feel uneasy every time something happens in our country that just plain SHOULDN’T. I feel uneasy because we have a media problem in this country, each side spinning things to benefit there own bottom line and loyalties. At the end of the day, truth always comes to light and regardless of the outcome, there is something to do about whats happening! This is my attempt at being honest and suggesting how to move forward from here and to not stay silent about whats going on in front of us.
As a society we are suddenly faced with, AGAIN, another act of racism and, AGAIN, it makes us all stop and think about how this can actually be something that is real. Those of us who believe life is precious no matter what the color skin you have, take to social media and cry out about the atrocity. People want to point fingers at who is to blame. It’s easier that way, to shove the blame to other people. The fact of the matter is that until everyone takes an inward look and does the hard work of rooting out the pride, the prejudice, the selfishness, the insecurity and hate, we will be stuck in a never ending cycle.
The problem with injustice is that it's easy to ride on feelings and a totally different thing for those feelings to move you to action.
What has to happen to turn feelings into positive traction?
What needs to happen before your heart breaking for injustice actually yields to fruitful movement towards change?
I am suggesting 3 things that you can start doing today to impact tomorrow. Again, I am no expert but I, like you, am tired of our brothers and sisters in all walks of life be scrutinized, ridiculed, judged and treated like they are some kind of second class citizen. It starts with me.
Start Seeing People Properly
When you look at someone and think you are better than they are in any way, you’re wrong. Seeing people as someone’s son or daughter, as someone’s brother or sister, as a friend, as someone who has worth you begin to see them how God see’s them. Every human being has worth, has value, has been created for a purpose even if they haven’t realized it yet. If you think you are better than anyone else you have a poor view of yourself. It starts with your vision, your vision informs your thoughts and your thoughts about someone else informs how you treat them. Let me be the first to say that, as much as it pains me, that I don’t always see people as God’s beloved. I will do better, by God’s grace and His power, I will take steps.
Root Out Your Pride
Pride is a misplaced sense of worth and a desire to be more important than someone else. Pride is what gets in the way of celebrating others accomplishments, of elevating someone for a promotion, of making a big deal over someone who excels at a specific trade/skill/talent, and ultimately, what makes someone treat someone poorly. Pride is actually a mask to your own short comings. Pride us ugly, it’s gross and it takes work to pursue humility in all areas of life. If you can be self aware enough to realize your pride, you will not only start seeing all people properly but start treating them with honor, respect and dignity. Let me be the first to say I need to work on my pride. I need to prayerfully ask God to reveal the parts of my life that I pride has a death grip on me.
Start a conversation and make a friend
What does your friend circle look like? What do your interactions look like at work, in your neighborhood or on the weekends? Befriend someone different than you or get to know those from different backgrounds. Take an interest in someone’s life, not because it benefits you but because everyone deserves someone to take interest in them. When you start to see life from another perspective you start to become more aware, more educated and more compassionate! Let me be the first to say that I can do better and will do better.
It’s impossible to make change all of the sudden. If everyone collectively takes a step towards unity and towards loving people the way God loves people, we will start to see the change that needs to take place.
It starts with ME, It starts with YOU… It starts with US!
How you do anything is how you do everything. That statement has been floating around in my brain for a long time. At first I disagreed, then I totally agreed, then I wrestled with it more. The reason I wrestled with it is because I didn't want it to be true. I didn't want to believe that I wasn't disciplined in all areas of my life. The reality is there are certain areas of my life that I struggle with being disciplined in. The more I was honest about my life I could see patterns develop. How I do anything is how I do everything.
When it comes to being healthy in all aspects of life, discipline plays a roll. If you want to be healthy physically you need to be disciplined with exercise and with what you eat. If you want to be healthy emotionally, you need to get plenty of sleep, have a community of people who love you and that you can be honest with. If you want to be healthy mentally you need to be challenging yourself, reading, learning, creating a healthy internal dialogue, knowing your identity and what you believe. If you want to be healthy spiritually you need to be in God's word consistently, pray constantly, practice fasting, taking time to be still and silent, listen to the Holy Spirit and surround yourself with people who can encourage and challenge you to be who God wants you to be. In all of those aspects of life it takes discipline. With each area of life, you are faced with choices to make to pursue health in that area. Those choices determine how you do certain things. I believe that if you make healthy decisions with one area that will help you make a healthy decision in all areas.
I am a walking case study. My diet has always been my achilles heal, Im not unhealthy but I am definitely not the healthy physical adonis that sometimes I convince myself I am. When life is stressful I have a decision to make, Oreos (anything sugary, fatty, etc) or no. For whatever reason I find comfort in comfort foods and that has been evident as I look back over my life. I have seasons of good decision making when it comes to my physical health. There have been seasons of consistent working out, running, eating right. In those seasons I have found that most other areas of my life are operating like they should as well; I am more patient, I spend more time with God, I am emotionally in a better place, I am mentally more clear and intentional. When life gets hard, busy, or not ideal is when the rubber meets the road for me. How I do anything is how I do everything. When I am disciplined in the area that has the most control over my life, the other areas fall in line. When I am undisciplined, I am undisciplined everywhere. Sure, it has taken my 38 years to figure it out, but I have. That doesn't mean I will always have it under control but it means that I know myself a little better than I did years ago and that will inform my future!
How self aware are you? This took me being really honest with myself to get to this point. I don't like admitting my flaws because I desperately want people to think I have it all together. The truth is, I don't. Every day is a new day for tough decisions, choices that will affect other people and other aspects of my life.
How you do anything is how you do everything... change my mind!
What areas of your life influence the other areas of your life?