I have never been a protester, although I appreciate and support the need for it when change must come. Dissatisfaction with the status quo is critical for releasing the old and jump-starting the new.
But it’s not for me. For the past 30 years, I have been studying energy, and know that by the laws of quantum physics, whatever you pay attention to expands. For that reason, I pour my time and attention into what will build peace, love and well-being for all.
Lately, I have been putting my time and attention into listening to voices with varying ideas about what will create a just society where racial diversity, equity and inclusion are expectations, not exceptions.
To achieve this, many say it’s critical to speak the names of those who have been senselessly killed. George Floyd. Trayvon Martin. Breonna Taylor. Rayshard Brooks. And the list goes on. Black lives matter more to us when they are humanized. We need to feel the loss of a brother, a father, a daughter, a son so we can realize that racism hurts people, not stereotypes.
As I have been listening, I realized something. These are all the names of the dead. They are reminders of a past we want to change, but they are no longer here to build our future. We need to keep speaking their names so we never forget, or we leave ourselves vulnerable to repeating society’s mistakes.
In order to build the future we want though, new names must be spoken. Including yours. While I will continue to honor the dead, I want to support the living. And to do that, I must not only say your name, but understand your hopes and dreams and know what I can do to support them.
I already know some names whose voices I champion. Art, who gathers data to help leaders measure whether or not their D,E and I efforts are working. Jackie, who is building inclusion at a regional healthcare organization. Tyrone, who raises people out of poverty by giving them a secure shoulder as they learn about success for the first time. Chris, who has opened his heart to his white colleagues to deepen their understanding of the suffering systemic bias can cause.
Saying begins with seeing. So today I say: I see you, Art. I support you, Jackie. I believe in you, Tyrone. I am listening, Chris. I want to say your names because that is where the power of connection is born.
As I do, I ask only one thing: that you be willing to say my name, too. Like you, I don’t want to be stereotyped or written off because of what I cannot change: my skin color, gender, or age.
Today, I hope we can look each other in the eye, and say the other’s name. In that moment, we stop being some-thing and become some-One. When we can all be the ones we were meant to be, the world will rise.
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