When our destiny seems to be questionable, we tend to make decisions that are really good or really bad. I’ve often heard that “our destiny is written in the stars.” Yeah, yeah. If that were the case, then why do we have free will? I’m all for spreading our wings. What gets perplexing is how do I make something happen when I don’t know what I want? I’ve heard most of my life to figure out what I want and then go for it. I’m studying a lot right now. Almost so much that my brain freezes when asked to perform simple tasks that I should know. This is when I have to remind myself that part of being human is to be confused. The clarity comes when we take away the drama and baggage. Getting rid of the drama and baggage can be painful but necessary all at the same time.
Over the last twenty years, I’ve struggled with professional and personal decisions. Several of the relationships that I clung to have proven toxic. I had to ask myself what I was really clinging to and what did that say about me? I’m a very easy going person. I have a tendency to sweat the small stuff more than I should and I own that issue. I’ve worked hard on it over the last decade. I also have a tendency to be very loyal to my friends and that has been one of my biggest faults. There are some who would indicate that it’s a strength but when that loyalty is abused, it becomes detrimental. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and that too has been an issue. My poker face has been almost non existent but I’m sharpening that skill too now. In fact, it’s part of what I want to address with all of you.
During the last week, we have all been affected with George Floyd’s death. It was senseless. It left another reminder that #BlackLivesMatter. There was no excuse for how his death was handled or that it existed at all. I have several friends who are cops of all kinds of cultures and races. This event has left all of America outraged. To make matters worse, the protests that have sprung up were intended to be peaceful but many of them have become violent or vandalizing businesses. This whole thing makes me sick. It makes my stomach churn at the thought that in 2020 we are still fighting racism. When I studied oppression in college, one of the things that I found was that money was at the root of oppression. When I watch people looting in light of this tragedy, I can’t help but think that while this tragedy should never have occurred, that two wrongs never make a right. All it does is lead to more division.
I long for the day that this country isn’t divided by race relations. I was always raised that the color of one’s skin should never define them. None of us can help the color we were born with. We can only help how we treat each other. The cop who committed this heinous act abused his power. There is no question about that. Thankfully he’s been arrested but that will not bring George Floyd back. The decisions the cop made were poor. What else will it take to wake up the nation that we truly are stronger together than a nation divided? How many more people have to die or suffer because of racial oppression?
There are no easy answers. I wish sometimes I had a crystal ball that could tell the future and what was needed in order for this country to heal. Hate will only incite more hate. If you can’t love your neighbor, then try to find a way to tolerate them.
We are living with poor decisions and the outcome of those decisions. There are things in our lives that we have no control over. There are also points in our lives that we need to be able to say that we could have handled things better. We are living in a country divided by race and political views. We all have the power to change things. I fear it will come down to more loss of life in order to get the attention of the government. I pray it doesn’t come to this.
Life isn’t a fairy tale. It doesn’t have a yellow brick road. It has many challenges and questionable acts that occur every day. We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. I choose to be part of the solution. I’ve worked with many men and women that are black. I can’t begin to understand all the issues they contend with every day. I was engaged to a black man when I was in my twenties. We were in the heart of the south where interracial relationships were taboo. While I can never fathom what it is to be black, I can fathom what it was to love someone of another color. To be victimized for that love and to be told that I didn’t belong in either world. We aren’t supposed to be judging each other and yet it’s done every day. When he was really sick, I took him to the doctor. Here I was a white woman, holding a black mans hand trying to help him get treatment for the flu. All the white women in the waiting room looked at me like I was filth. I’ll never forget that feeling. When we split it had nothing to do with his color but rather his dependency on drugs. My son, had he lived would have been biracial. So yes. The racial injustice in this world makes me sick.
I can only hope that our society can begin to learn from this tragedy. Unfortunately, these tragedies keep happening. School shootings, looting, cops killing black men and women, gangs, drug wars, and a slew of other issues in this world keep us from living in harmony. Instead of letting the questionable decisions of others bring us down, I truly hope that we can all continue to lift one another up instead of tearing each other down.