Sometimes it takes a simply conversation. One where I am simply listening and on occasion, asking questions. Yesterday was one of those days. My mother’s caregiver is a young black woman whose spirit lights up the room. She is funny, spirited and my mother is in a very good place because of her. While my mother was still sleeping, I spent some time just hanging out and chatting. We shared our fears about the election results. We talked about the unrest that surrounds our county. She listened to me when I told her that I would not be one of those white people who says they “understand” her plight when there is no possible way I can.
I was authentic with her when I articulated my lack of understanding. I needed to see it from her side. The reality that she is paranoid driving in a neighborhood for fear that someone will question her presence. The fear she has for her children’s safety. It is mind-boggling. I was so grateful for our talk. I was appreciative of her willingness to share openly with me. As our conversation deepened, she shed many tears and my heart broke. How can we still be so stunted in embracing other humans?
I told her that I am embarrassed at the whites who insists that the BLM movement are rioters. They describe those who are passionate about making a difference as losers. It infuriates me to no end that they lack information to have some empathy for their plight. Being uninformed and ignorant doesn’t give anyone a free pass for being an asshole.
I was so honored that she felt comfortable enough to share her fears with me. We are better than this. We are a community of humans that should be working together not against each other. Today we might elect a new President. I say might because 2020 has been weird and nothing goes as planned. I want us to remember that no matter who wins, we don’t have to be adversaries. I might not agree with your choice, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a relationship with you. I am married to someone who basically disagrees with me on most everything in the outside realm. I can still love him and accept him for who he is. And, friends, if I can do that with a spouse then you all can do it with the people in your life. Be the change you want to see in the world. Despite what happens with this election, we are going to be okay. We are a strong and resilient country. Remember the light is always brighter than the darkness. Be the light.