Friday, July 17, 2015

Removing Racism - 3 Things We Can Do RIGHT NOW

the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

Three easy things we - each and all of us - can do right now to address if not remove racism in ourselves: 

1. When encountering 'other' in your everyday life, smile and say hello as you pass by, just as you would a friend. You may make a new one. 

2. Embrace 'curiosity' (non-judgment) about 'other'.  See, hear and feel what's similar or recognizable and what's entirely new or maybe totally or only kind of different from you.

3. Read a book, see a film, listen to music by and/or about 'other'. Share your thoughts with others and invite them to do the same.

And, rather than generalize from an individual encounter, regard each as a unique window into an individual 'other' versus the definitive way that every 'other' is. One female, one Caucasian, one gay man, one pierced, tattooed teen... is not all females, all Caucasians, all gay men or all pierced, tattooed teens. You are your unique you, I am my unique me. 

Curiously engaging 'other' one by one is racism's greatest enemy. 
And our greatest potential for understanding and connection. 

Let 'doing' initiate 'being' which will further promote 'doing' and 'being' and so on!

What else can we do? Please share your ideas and experiences below.

Opening the eyes of each and all of us,


p.s.  I was inspired to write a blog today after reading this article in the online HuffPost:  After Charleston, Americans Increasingly Concerned About Racism

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence - the From, To and With of It All

Freedom from tyranny. Freedom to choose. Freedom to marry. Freedom to exercise our rights. Freedom to say yes. Freedom to say no. Today we celebrate those who gave and continue to offer their all, many with their lives, in order to create a place where we can freely be and become our best selves. Today I also celebrate what it takes to gain, preserve and enhance such freedoms: courage, vision, grit, resilience. It's not only these qualities, however. 

Independence requires what may at first sound counter-intuitive. Independence requires connection. Connection with our deepest values and beliefs, connection with teachers and mentors, family and friends, those who support us (and we support) in myriad ways. So today, though we may be separated by time and space, I celebrate my freedom to be connected with each of you.