“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope” – Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote from Martin Luther King Jr. serves as inspiration for my writing today as the focus is on “Speaking Up” and “Never Losing Hope” as being necessary essentials for inclusion on the “Where Do We Start?” list of actions. Everyone engaged and committed in helping to heal the gaping wound of racism that is so embedded in American culture and society must be people who will muster of the courage to “Speak Up” about racism, while also fanning the flame of “Hope” that is necessary to deal with the occasional setbacks and disappointments that are often a part of the healing process.
When we sense (i.e. see, hear feel) the presence of “racism” enter any space that we find ourselves in, we must have the courage to use our voice (speaking or writing) to challenge the offender whenever the opportunity arises. The option of ignoring such offenses can no longer be the choice for those who are genuinely committed to this cause.
However, if most of us are blatantly honest with ourselves (me included) then we know that there are many times in our lives up until this point that we have gone about our “day-to-day-just-living-life” existence when we have sensed (seen, heard or felt) the negative energy fueled by racism. Sometimes the offense has been subtle and at other times it has been overt, but in either instance and for whatever reason, we chose not to challenge the offender. For this, we can be thankful that our past does not dictate our present, nor our future! So beginning “Now”, we can make the decision not to continue ignoring racism the next time we encounter it whether the offense is subtle or overt. Whether the offender is our friend, our family member or just someone we casually interact with while we our out and about doing the business of living life. We must be courageous and we must “Speak Up”!
Yes, it may be scary! Yes, it may be messy and uncomfortable! Yes the offender may not appreciate our candor and our commitment to the cause of being a catalyst for positive change. In fact, as a result of “Speaking Up” we may anger some people, we may lose some relationships, and we will no doubt experience many disappointments along the way. However, this…, my fellow healing advocate is simply, if I may use a golfing term “par for the course”!
And of course this is also why it is so critically important that we must also master the ability to fan the flame of hope that resides within us. Doing so will help to ensure that the finite disappointments that we experience along the way will not diminish the infinite hope that resides deep within us. The infinite hope that springs from the very core of our being. The infinite hope that I believe connects all humanity and all of creation together. The infinite hope that resonates inside of you inspiring the belief that healing the gaping wound of racism is possible even in America. The infinite hope that echoes within you and says “You can help to heal the wound”!
Do whatever is necessary for you to fan this flame of hope in whatever way that your life experience has taught you. Through faith, through prayer, through meditation, through nature, through silence, through music – just do whatever it takes for you to stay committed to “doing the work” and “helping to heal the wound”, and by all means – Never, ever, ever lose hope!