The House Is On Fire

More than 400 years ago, people of color started being treated horrifically in the Americas by white men who gave no value to the lives of the indigenous people they devastated.  Here we are in the 21st century and we see the same behavior continues.  White men participating in and watching with no emotional regard to the fading life of a son-brother-father.  

How has this continued for so long?  How can a person look at another and not care what happens to that human being, as if that person is any different from their own mother, brother, best friend or child?  How have religious justifications carried on for millennia, proclaiming one group of people superior to another?  Religion at its heart proclaims love and kindness for all.  Does anyone truly believe Donald Trump was full of love and kindness for all his nation’s citizens as he had them pepper sprayed, then stepped in front of a church for a photo op with a Bible?

Photo by Adonyi Gábor on Pexels.com

The house is on fire with rage, bullets and blood,

with petty crimes harshly punished,

with innocent men locked up or killed.

The house is on fire with innocent children in wretched schools,

with angry boys toting guns to protect themselves because their fathers can’t from prison,

with mothers who work so hard only to be able to barely feed and shelter their families.

The house is on fire with politicians and preachers proclaiming what is right

with mansions cleaned by people who work harder and listen better

with laws and beliefs touted that grow and spread oppression.

 

The house is on fire with courage long overdue to take its stand, 

with voices too long silenced,

with hearts too long aching.

THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE AND IT WILL BURN UNTIL THINGS CHANGE

I am an ordinary human, a citizen, a woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.  I didn’t really know where to begin to make changes.  Then I read a post on Medium written by someone who has long been deeply involved in making changes for decades.  Research has been done and there are lots of ways to improve things.  You can read findings and a well researched report about it here.  

What Am I doing to bring change?

My first career centered around positive communication and instilling in others a sense of self-worth.  In my current role, I have open conversations with my daughter about the fact that people have been hurt, even lost their lives.  Lots of people are angry.  Not everyone has been treated kindly, just because they look different.  Isn’t that sad.  We wrote a letter to the Floyd family.  She expressed wishing she could give Mr. Floyd a hug…and I wept.  I wept out of sorrow she can’t hug a man she knows was hurt/  I wept with hope for the world she will help shape.  With such sentiments, our world will find more love, less hatred. 

 Admittedly, I have felt very angry recently.  I have felt incredibly sad.  I have felt helpless at moments, and empowered at others.  I am shaping my approach.  I value and utilize my freedom to vote.  I continue to appreciate the freedom of press in our country and read and support and believe journalists. I read a variety of press to try to get a well-rounded picture.  I write my politicians and sign petitions.  I write stories to spread joy, peace and love.  I teach my children to see and treat everyone kindly and respect people’s differences.  I take deep breaths…a lot.  I read and listen to learn what I don’t yet know.  There is SO much.  I guess I already work for this cause, but there is clearly much more to be done.

I still need to reach out to my local leaders: starting with my mayor and Police Chief to learn what they are doing to be a part of solving this long engrained tragedy of racism. I need to hold them accountable for what they do or don’t do. I need to give them a chance to be transparent, thanked for what they are doing well, and honest about where there is room for growth.

We each have our own part to do.  One person can only do so much, and yet one person can do a lot

You don’t have to fix the whole world today. 

But do ask yourself, what am I doing?  Let’s all start with a deep breath.  

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