We can hope, but we also must work for it

By Dominic Green
Last year was rough. I would say that most of us have said that and have followed it with, we’re so happy it’s done now and in our rear-view mirror. We have endured COVID-19 (still are), racial injustices (still are), natural disasters (still are), our life and economy shutting down and changing into something that is not always recognizable (still is).

You may have noticed all those “still ares” and the “still is” statement I put behind each one. So how have we changed? Is 2021 really that different?

I pose a question, and this is mainly to my white friends reading this, how can we use this liminal time, this time of pause, when we feel that we are loosing all control of what we knew to listen, learn, read, and open ourselves up to being comfortable during this uncomfortable time. Let us stop acting like we know better than our neighbor and listen to them and be open to learning a different viewpoint. White does not mean right. Far too often we use our privilege to stay in control because we are afraid of what might happen if we relinquish that control or give someone else the chance to speak up.

This does not mean you cannot still be an advocate for what IS right, but it does mean THINK next time. Is your voice the one that needs to be heard or is it your BIPOC colleague’s, neighbor’s, or classmate’s voice that really needs to be heard, and supporting them as they speak. One thing that I am challenging myself to do is to talk less and listen more. There is a long road ahead and it does not come with unending promises of change and being better. Just because a year changes or an administration changes doesn’t mean things will be better automatically. We can hope, but we also must work for it.

I will end with a quote that I heard from Michele Norris on The Michelle Obama Podcast “Don’t reach for normal, reach for better.”
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