This morning as soon as I walked through the door, one of my staff members came to me, perplexed in the vain of not understanding and wanting to understand the racial conflict in America. She came with a sincere desire to understand, a heavy heart, and wanted to know what she could do to help…in essence, “Are you okay and what can I do?” That alone was enough for me, as a black American female, to truly see “her” and THAT is what every human being wants, whether they are willing to admit it or not.
Authentic, real, and truthful conversation is difficult, particularly when it comes to color. While coloring boxes never offended us as children, it is funny and sad how the “coloring box of life” can and does. How we view the world is influenced by how we come into and exist within it. Those cares start with our caregivers and their conditioning. We are shaped by our parents/guardians, those we love and respect, teachers, faith leaders.
Your every response is taught, learned, and conditioned, and some remain stunted in growth and understanding because of that programming, never to question whether it is truly theirs. That nurture becomes their reality and the determining factor for response to the world around them. Facing the fear of difference and the unknown can breed anxiety, hate, anger, pain but fear, and all it brings, can always be conquered by an open heart and the light it brings through love and diverse unity.
People simply want to be heard regardless of belief system. Open your heart, open your mind. See the flesh and blood human being in front of you…now neutralize their color. Pour the colors on the floor and think without a box; that box is meant to keep you in, out, or hovering about. Humble yourselves one to another, give space for grace, and love the skin you’re in, so that you can see past color to love across color lines. JUST BREATHE…