Obligatory Change-Lead by Example

I’ve wanted to write on this topic for several weeks now, but I couldn’t bring myself to put pen to paper. My heart has been heavy and I have been fearful that I am so close to the topic that the trajectory and intent of my words might be misinterpreted by many.
Now that I have had time to process my feelings, I’m making an attempt to express them as opposed to using expletives or hoisting myself atop my giant soapbox.
I am saddened. I am angry. I am disgusted. I am tired. These feelings are not novel. Most of us have felt these emotions over the past several weeks in the midst of all the racial unrest in our country. Instead of choosing to dwell on the negativity, I am making it my mission to try and look at the positive side of things that have emerged from this travesty and use them to be better. And while this may seem like an impossible task, there are some positive things to take away from what is happening in the world right now. 
As an educator, I feel that it is my responsibility to teach our youth how to be better than those who have come before them. As we become further removed from the days of slavery, each generation should be better than the one before. If we are all teaching our children to love and respect all people regardless of their differences,  there is no room for hate, or discrimination because when you see everyone as equal, you don’t think about committing acts of violence against them or degrading them through means like segregation, discrimination, or dehumanization. You show them empathy, compassion and mutual respect.

The positive that has come out of all of this madness is that we can no longer claim to be ignorant to the inequity that has birthed systemic racism that is embedded in our country’s DNA. Nor can we look the other way at signs of injustice against people of color. The whole world is now privy to all of it.  We are now charged with the responsibility of being better humans and instilling these values in future generations, not only with our words, but also through our actions. It is time to be about the business of doing better because if you’re not moving to eliminate the status quo, you are a complicit participant.

~Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change
their minds, cannot change anything.

~George Bernard Shaw

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