Since the horrific, senseless death of George Floyd and the outcry of numerous black citizens, I have been searching my soul.
Through all of the protests and all of the blame, it's been so evident to me that to stop racism or any other injustice, it must start with ME.
I must not assume that what is wrong in the world is due to my neighbor and that what is evil is because of "them". I must be willing to admit: I am the problem.
It is prideful to think I am doing everything right. I am wrong to assume the problem is in others alone.
It is not wrong to speak up in protest. It is not wrong to share our opinions or facts. But in that process, we cannot assume that we are doing everything right. It is so easy to let pride sneak in and turn our focus from what needs to change inside of ourselves to what needs to change in everyone else. And the danger in putting all of our energy into what others need to change and what is wrong in others, is that no change ever comes. Because we are all so focused on identifying our neighbors' problems or our political adversaries' problems that none of us actually take steps to change the one person we are able to change: ourselves.
We must ask ourselves:
What is wrong in ME? (Not, what is EVERYONE ELSE doing wrong?)
What is offensive in MY life?
How am I a part of the problem and what can I DO to be better?
If each and every one of us searched our souls to find what is wrong, and then did what we can do to fix it, THEN we would truly see change in this world.
And in this process of soul-searching and taking action to be better, we must display nothing but LOVE. Love for ALL people. If I voice love for my black brothers and sisters, but in the same breath voice hate of any kind for any human, my message is muted.
If I fight for love for my neighbor but act against another human being, my message is null and void.
The ONLY THING that can solve the EVIL and HATRED and WRONG in this world IS LOVE. If we can get past ourselves enough to pour out love to ALL HUMANS, EVEN our ENEMIES, then we will be able to TRULY come together.
Hatred divides us. In our seeking truth and justice, hatred easily flows from our mouths.
In my writing of this blog, I write to you (whoever is reading this) that YOU ARE LOVED. No matter your color or political affiliation or personal view or past history or mistakes or sexual orientation or religion or denomination or gender or disagreement or crime or economic status or sports team allegiance or habits...YOU ARE LOVED. I love you. Truly, I want the best for you. I'm sorry for the evil that exists, and I'm willing to admit that some of the problem is in me.
Will you still love me, too?
This comes without judgment or condemnation. I am a FIRM believer that everyone is doing the best they can. And while our best isn't always good enough, and our best often misses the mark, and evil exists and hurt is all around us, I am always going to choose to see EACH AND EVERY PERSON for the GOOD that IS in them.
I hope that is how you will see me.
Because I am far from perfect. And, sometimes, the problem exists in me.