Where do we go from here?
The past few weeks since the death of George Floyd have honestly been difficult. From the moment he was killed, until now has been a blur of outrage, arguments and confusion. Interestingly, it has all been interwoven with a lot of caring, empathy and understanding. So what’s next? How can we, as a society, move on toward a positive change?
As a Christian, I would like to see love from every human being toward one another. I would like to see a positive, hopeful future for society. I would like to see a positive lesson learned from a horrible and negative situation. As a Black/mixed-race person, I would like to see equality for everyone. Is that even possible?
One thing that I feel is extremely important in moving toward healing is the sharing of personal experiences.
After Mr. Floyd’s death, social media seemed to be at a boiling point. The days of cute family pictures, funny memes and bits of interesting information began to blur into hateful comments, opinionated rants and news story after frightful news story.
I began to share things that I found important to share, to hopefully foster understanding, but after a while I began to share personal experiences shared by friends and family. Every time I saw someone share their personal experience, I shared it to my own page for my friends to read and also share.
The response was extremely encouraging. So many people thanked me for sharing these stories. I began to see a sense of hope and a sense of understanding amid the storm. No two people experience life the same way and seeing the world through another’s eyes seemed to lead to deeper understanding and empathy.
The other thing that is so important to creating a new environment for all people amid racial tensions is conversations. Taking to Facebook or Twitter, so many people feel that the anonymity of social media allows them to lash out and spew hate. Strong emotions can lead to much hurt if not handled correctly.
Simply taking the time to give one’s opinion in a kind way is much more productive than lashing out, especially if it is to someone you don’t know. Taking the time to create a dialogue with someone that thinks differently will have a much more productive outcome than elevating our opinion above others. Simply taking the time to make thoughtful interactions instead of just pushing our own opinions on others without taking the time to hear their side can create connections and clear up a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions.
Thankfully, I have only experienced a few instances of racism personally in my life. I feel the hurt of others during this time, especially those who have gone through far worse than myself. Those who have been scared to the point of feeling this was the last straw, those that have lost their lives, those who mourn and those who are filled with anger. Everyone was either shouting” Black lives matter” or “all lives matter” and my heart told me, everyone’s story matters.
People on every side of the issue need to be heard. That is what needs to happen for a positive change. Politics aside, we are all God’s creation and need to better understand each other.
Ultimately, because of the sinful nature of humankind, we cannot totally remove racism from the world. There will always be hateful people. But we can strive toward a positive future. The most important thing is to remember is that no matter how out of control the world appears, God is IN control, and when we rely on him and do our best to make changes for the good He will bring blessings and healing.