The dialogue that is loosely referenced under the banner of “Black Lives Matter” is a crucial, landmark, richly promising dialogue. Yes, it hurts right now, but can we as a country find a way to ensure that these pains are birth pangs? The birth of a healed and healing nation?
The dialogue about legislation, public life, policing, and reform movements is important. But I can’t help but believe that the best answers are to be found at a deeper level, the heart and soul level. Thoughtful introspection, painful investigation, searching for superior self-knowledge, and humbling ourselves to examine with fresh eyes our experiences, our observations, and our socialization in this my country is required.
Dig, dig, dig into the nature of our beliefs and our practices, our instincts and our socialization into our society.
How do we value each other? What human qualities do we respect? How humble can we become while assessing the current situation? Who is a “hero?” Who is a “suspect?” What wrongs can be righted? What rights can be respected?
A single individual can be right and wrong, heroic and cowardly, highly educated and ignorant, overcoming and yet helplessly trapped in evil instincts and patterns. A single individual can be guilty and innocent, improving and fallible, insightful and blind. We are each and every one deeply flawed yet amazingly capable of growth, insight, and transformation.
We can learn to celebrated differences yet recognize that these differences are surface, social creations. We can learn to celebrate our common humanity and recognize that some acknowledgements of that common humanity need to be made publicly, repeatedly, genuinely, and in many varied times and places. We must remind ourselves every hour of the journey and the path that we choose. We must reach out our hands, our hearts, our feet, our pocketbooks, and step into the unknown, taking a big eraser to our pride, our anger, our churning bundle of primitive mysterious weighty “truisms.”
We must talk to each other, in private, in public, aloud, silently, in long and short conversations, in writing and with our tongues, with our body language and with our priorities. That’s how we have a meaningful and fruitful dialogue.
We must stop blaming the past for inadequacies of the present. Rather, we can confront our pasts with new eyes, new ears, and new questions. We can stand on the foundation of the past to build a better future. We can. It begins with each individual.
When we humble ourselves, open ourselves, invest the time to meditate upon this situation, truly meditate; when we do these things, is the action to which we are led the action of reaching for a gun? I think not.
Love one another. Humble ourselves. Find different definitions of power and satisfaction.