What I hoped for in the early moments of covid-19 and what I hope for now in this historical moment of a revolution is for people to experience a newfound relationship with humanity and empathy.
Policy and change will be pushed and I am hopeful and committed to a rising of change. It won’t happen overnight and I know there is a steep mountain to climb and a lot of work to do. But I believe it is happening.
I wonder though, about our experiences with empathy and humanity and how we are navigating that in all of our spaces. Do you notice it? In you? Around you? As part of your thoughts, feelings, emotional growth?
For me, it’s come up in some of my personal relationships and the need for a couple of my friends to step back. My whiteness was blinding and the desire for immediate connection with their Black friends was front and center. It was a call for me to step aside and trust our friendship without needing to be validated or assured we were okay. Hating the reality of it and completely understanding it.
It’s come up for me as I watch businesses be more concerned about the messages they are sending out to the general public but not checking in on their Black team members/staff/partners to offer support. Witnessing the exhaustion.
It’s come up for me as I watch white people start using their voice and then get caught up in (un)expected toxic family dynamics and the fear and the shame and the guilt that is bubbling up for those with privilege at this time. Witnessing the struggle and the painful power dynamics.
It’s come up for me as I read pieces of history I was never taught and I can no longer deny the gut-wrenching pain of what my Black and Brown siblings have endured. My racism wants it to be a long long time ago. This is what I fight in myself. The brutal truth that it is in all history and it is all right now.
It’s come up for me as I see white people speaking up and then being criticized for not speaking up the right away. It is an awkward dance for those moving from silence to speaking up as they step into alignment with their values and their actions. It is a fucking mess. That is what it is.
This is where I see us, our humanity, and I feel empathy.
I see that we are sick of keeping it under the rug. We are so sick of needing it to appear perfect because that is NOT working!
I am experiencing humanity through all my senses. I can smell the sickness of internalized racism. I can taste the poison that is oozing out, fresh from the cut. I can feel the tension in the air as so many are individually and collectively self-diagnosing racism in and all around us. Denial is no longer protected.
Where are empathy and humanity showing up in your world, friends? I want to know. I want to feel the connection and hope. I want to witness growth and radical truth. I want vulnerability.