We are living in a confusing and frightening time. The country is polarized by racism, hate and fear. Many are so busy arguing “sides” and talking points that they don’t stop to examine their own heart and soul.
I find it hard to believe that there are people actually “for” racism, but clearly I am wrong based on current events. This article is not for them. This is a plan for those who feel stuck somewhere in the murky middle on this issue.
What if you had to make a choice whether you are on the side of ending systemic racism or not? Would you claim one of the following:
A) I want to help fix the problem
B) Nope, sorry don’t believe there is a problem
C) I don’t give a damn about this problem because it’s not my problem
D) “I’m a racist and want to stay that way.”
If you answered A the rest of this article is for you. If you answered B, C or D, then click off, this isn’t for you. I’m not going to try to fix you, I’m here for the ones who want to help.
I believe much of our stuck is not that we all disagree, but that we don’t know what steps to take to fix it. I believe we need to move people away from sides, and onto “soul-utions”.
That is not a typo. I do mean Soul-utions. It will take heart and soul on all sides to put down the intellectually-motivated wrath and come together to solve this problem that is destroying not only our country but the world.
To that end, I have devised Ten Steps to Peace to move us in the right direction. I don’t think this is impossible if we are willing to embrace it. Let’s discuss. Tell me what you think of these steps. Let’s add more, or better ones. This is intended to get us thinking about solutions and not wringing our hands in fear. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Ten Steps to Peace
- Step One: Agree that systemic racism is a problem and that we want to help.
- Step Two: Talk about solutions, not sides.
- Step Three: Be more interested in fixing the problem than being right.
- Step Four: Be willing to listen more than preaching. Swallow the discomfort and defensiveness that comes up and keep on listening.
- Step Five: Combat fear with action-based love. Start first with the action of reading and educating yourself about systemic racism.
- Step Six: Be willing to step out of our own comfort zone and see the world from another’s perspective with empathy.
- Step Seven: Make amends for any ignorance, harmful actions and false beliefs from our pasts and the false history we were taught.
- Step Eight: Be willing to make permanent changes in our own perceptions, actions and conversations.
- Step Nine: Forgive the trespasses done to us, both perceived and real, and move forward toward peace.
- Step Ten: Embrace love, but confront evil, ignorance and racism in its tracks. Staying silent is condoning the behavior. Love says hell no to hate!
That’s a start. What do you have to help move the discussion forward? Join the conversation, we are in this together.