The thing is, I really am struggling to put thoughts and feelings into words right now. So...if you haven't ever seen the movie "IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD", perhaps you have heard the title. It seems to really fit the world around us right now. It would seem that we have slipped into the game Jumanji and there's no end to the game in sight. Unfortunately, what is happening right now is no game! The very fabric of our society seems to ripping itself apart at the seams. Too many people seem to be willing to let this happen, to satisfy their own agendas...others seem to be attempting to make it worse...and still others don't seem to care at all, one way or the other. These people are content to just be quiet and let the world tear itself apart, because they are afraid of offending someone or drawing attention to themselves. Truth time...I was one of these people! Too afraid of what anyone would say...."Just keep your mouth shut, you will only hurt yourself". Basically...A COWARD!
At the very core of all the unrest seems to be one simple thing...ANGER! Everyone is angry about SOMETHING! I guess if you try hard enough, you can always find something to be angry about. Some of this anger is just selfish and unjustified...some is NOT! But, people of color are angry at the harsh and unfair treatment that is part of their daily lives. Before you say it, I'll save you the time...I KNOW I have no idea how they feel because....simply stated, I've never faced their daily fight with discrimination and prejudice. Sure, I've been picked on for one thing or another during my lifetime, but I don't have a clue what it feels like to go shopping and be followed and harassed by store employees because of my skin color. I don't know what it feels like to be pulled over and have to wonder if I'm going to be beaten or arrested (or worse) simply for being the wrong race, in the wrong neighborhood, at the wrong time, and what are the chances I'll be thrown to the ground and have someone kneel on my neck until I'm dead? Not nearly as likely as it is for some...
How do I know this? Well, I'm white and I'm a man. See, right there, that's two traits in American society that put me in a different "class" with many other Americans. Along with racial minorities, women are discriminated against more than any other group in our country. It's really pointless for me to offer an opinion about racial or gender profiling or discrimination because my exposure to both are basically nonexistent. I am a white man in a white man's world. I'm not rich or influential, and I am not a celebrity. I will NEVER be any of those things...But, I AM a white man. Now, I had NOTHING to do with being either white or male, but it is a fact that will not change with any amount of argument or discussion. The significance of this is that I REALIZE I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING about what it means to be a minority....be it race or gender. But, it's also important to remember...I can't control this!!! I won't apologize for something that is impossible for me to control or change. But...there is one thing I am responsible for...ME!!!
The ONLY thing I can do, at this stage of my life is to examine my heart and try to define the things that are unjust or evil in nature...and try to change them. I consider myself a Christian and I try to live my life with Christian principles. I'm also human...that means that I'm imperfect and have and will make mistakes. When this has happened, I've tried to rectify these mistakes and make amends for them. Sometimes, this is as easy as saying "I'm sorry"...Sometimes, no what what you say or do, forgiveness or healing will never be possible.
Right now, our world is consumed with hate and anger...It's EVERYWHERE! I admit...It's only been in the last few years, and in particular, the last 6 months, I've really looked at the world and our society and tried to recognize the attitudes and behaviors that fuel this seething, festering anger. I convinced myself that as long as I wasn't a contributing source of the anger and mistreatment, then I was doing ok. Today, I can say that no longer. Today, it is more important than EVER in our history, that EVERYONE speaks out and says ENOUGH!!! We should all be disgusted with the things that are happening in our country, but we should also go beyond talking about it. We can TALK TALK TALK all night long. We have to turn this talk into action.
NO...I'm not saying go out and riot and burn down buildings and destroy our communities. That is foolish behavior. You don't solve problems with violence and destruction. All of this violence and hate just breeds more violence and hate! It is this endless cycle of violence and hate that has to be broken. Remember the old saying...the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!. When I say action, I mean we have to get off our backsides and become engaged in our society! If we want a better world, we all have to contribute...not wait for it to be done for us.
We CAN'T sit on the sidelines anymore. We ALL must get into the game! After all, it IS called the HUMAN race...we are all HUMAN...black, brown, yellow, white, red...Stand up and be a voice of HUMANITY! If you see or hear someone being a bigot, or prejudiced, or racist...don't be a willing participant, or idly stand by and do nothing. We all have to stand up and say "enough is enough"!!! Think about it...if you are treating someone in a way you don't want to be treated yourself, then you are wrong! If you witness others being treated wrongly, speak up! If enough people come together and speak up, and it must come from EVERY race, age group, and gender, then maybe, just maybe, we can begin to change this attitude of hate, anger, and evil that is poisoning our very souls, killing our humanity!
Remember, Christ loved all people...even the one's that ripped apart his body, broke it, nailed it to a tree, and left him to die. He did this so that we all could be saved. I challenge you to find a better example...you won't!
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they are doing."
PEACE & LOVE
Husband, father, sinner saved by the Grace of God, old teacher, wood-worker, bad golfer, USM Golden Eagle (forever) and MSU Bulldog lover (It's a daughter thing)