It Starts With Ourselves

The past few weeks I’ve felt compelled to take a break from my food and creativity blog. Right now our world is spinning out of control and my blog feels tone deaf, ignorant, and trite.

I should be at the front lines of the protests, documenting what is happening, but instead I’m home taking care of my 2 year old daughter. I am at home following the news like so many others, knowing full well that our journalists, once revered and respected for documenting the truth, are increasingly being targeted and threatened. The very people dedicated to preserving democracy by placing the public good above all else are now distrusted and vilified.

I ask myself, how am I serving my country right now? We are facing a climate crisis of catastrophic proportions, a health pandemic that has already killed 100,000 Americans, a number that is now greater than all the tragic deaths of the Vietnam War, 9/11 and all mass shootings combined, and a pervasive illness of racial discrimination that is rotting the very fabric of our country. How do we even begin to navigate this tsunami crashing down on us much less survive? Many of our leaders and institutions have failed us and left us with a bleak and uncertain future for our children.

My heart hurts for George Perry Floyd, his family, and the countless American citizens who have had to endure hate, brutality, and even death due to being different or having a skin color other than white. I am white and I have never experienced racial discrimination. I am hesitate to speak out or write about racism, because who am I to utter a word after being raised in suburban white Americana. As soon as these thoughts echo across my consciousness, I stop to feel a deeper place inside myself where God resides. We are all Americans and it is our duty to serve and protect one another. I can’t believe it is God’s will for us to focus on our differences and to believe that we are too far apart to help one another. We are all brothers and sisters. Our corrupt system wants to distance us, to pit us against one another, yet we can all see through this mist of deceit. It is our hearts that can allow us to see into each other’s pain and suffering.

Many of us don’t feel love towards ourselves so this transcends to fear and distrust of others. What we project onto others is how we feel about ourselves. When we display or carry hatred, bitterness, resentment, and indifference towards people different from us, we are spewing poison residing inside our own psyche. This is a universal truth whether we want to believe it or not. The truth does not need us to acknowledge it.

When we begin to heal ourselves and live our truth, we begin to heal our families, communities, and ultimately our world. We have a long road to healing in this country, the list is long and it’s way overdue - police reform, accessible health care, addressing mass unemployment, inhumane housing conditions, and failing public schools, social justice, creating climate based jobs and legislation for curbing CO2, and beginning to find ways to bridge greater communication and understanding. It takes time to change and erode a widespread mindset of hatred and fear. This isn’t easy, especially when we may not be given the opportunity, tools, or education to pursue our dreams. Many Americans are victims of poverty, inequality, prejudice, and persecution. It starts with each of us understanding at a basic level, how we treat others is how we treat ourselves. It is up to each of us, no matter our age, gender, ethnicity, or political affliction to speak our truth and to believe in our own self worth for this allows us to believe in the worth of all others.

In spite of the chaos, I do have hope. I feel hope when a white Washington police chief feels the pain of a black woman protestor and they open up their arms to one another. I feel hope in the strength of our local heroes, our nurses, grocery store clerks, and everyday people serving during the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel hope that transformative action on climate change may occur when Singapore held it’s first ever climate rally in 2019 and the drought prone country, Ethiopia, implemented a tree planting program that has planted 350 million trees in just one day as part of a larger effort to restore its tree coverage by planting four billion trees. I feel hope in the common goodness of people. I believe most people at their core are good.

At this time we all are being asked to look deep within ourselves and to be courageous in feeling our own pain, suffering, and anger. Ultimately how we treat others is directly tied to our own self worth. We are being called upon to reflect upon how we want to treat others and to envision what kind of world we want to live in.

I choose to believe that we as Americans can embrace our differences and to ultimately understand that we are all the same. We all need love. We all have the transformative power to forgive and the ability to heal. It starts with ourselves.


We can create change.


Sign a petition

Justice for George Floyd on change.org

This petition aims to "reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately." As of June 1, more than 10 million  have signed.


#JusticeforFloyd on act.colorofchange.org

This petition is to "demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder." You can also sign by texting "Floyd" to 55156.


NAACP Legal Defense Fund petition for George Floyd

This petition insists "that officials ensure safe policing in times of unrest."


Sign the NRDC Climate Action Petition

Demand That President Trump Restore America's Leadership On Climate Change.


Donate

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund on gofundme.com

Philonise Floyd, George's brother, created the fund to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings and to assist the family as they "continue to seek justice for George," according to the description. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd, which benefits his children and their educational fund.


The NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Donations to this legal organization go toward helping "win landmark legal battles, protect voters across the nation, and advance the cause of racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society."


Black Lives Matter

An organization with the mission statement of bringing justice, freedom and healing to black people across the globe. You can become a "Global Member" by donating $5 to support their campaigns. 


Communities United Against Police Brutality

This Twin Cities-based organization accepts donations via mail or PayPal for "office costs, cop watch equipment, court filing fees and other expenses."


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