Can We Change?   1 comment

Generalizations and assumptions infuriate me! People assume they know which political party I would support just because I am a Christian. When assumptions are made about what I believe or don’t believe about a range of ethical or moral issues. All this without asking or listening to what I might say.

Recently I have been learning some very challenging lessons about some much more fundamental generalizations that are deeply embedded in the culture of our society. It is hard to realize that because of these, often unconscious, assumptions, people that I love sometimes experience life very differently than I do. Confronting the idea of “white privilege” that I never realized I had but that is a very painful and sometimes daily reality for many of my friends who live without it. It is also hard to find some of my friends seem not to be able to see these things and find the very idea of them offensive. Perhaps they, like me, have not yet really listened to the life experiences of some of those close to them. 

I had never considered what it is like to feel genuine fear for my children when they leave home; to dread what the consequences might be if they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and say the wrong thing. I have never wondered if my neighbor of more than twenty years might greet me in my driveway and suggest I “go back to the islands” again! I have never left the supermarket to have someone pass me and accuse me of bringing COVID 19 into the country. These are real experiences of real people! I could go on… But neither have I been the family member of a committed and caring policeman or woman who, because of the reprehensible behavior of a few who wear the uniform, feel judged and alone. Each of these completely unacceptable experiences are the consequence of unacceptable generalizations.

 At the risk of being accused of an oversimplification of these incredibly complex issues, I want to make a couple of suggestions for some small steps forward and be part of change. I suggest we all take some time to listen and learn about those we know who are different than we are. That we make time to ask them about their experiences that are different than ours.  Being a man of course I want to “fix everything today”! I know this is not possible and the journey forward is long but taking these steps is certainly changing me and that’s a start. I feel sure it can be for you as well if you take the risk! 

One response to “Can We Change?

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  1. Pingback: Whose Life Matters? | From the Zebra Bag

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