As a reminder, my blogs are intended to be thought-provoking, to ignite critical thinking to start bold and courageous conversations. With that said, please do take this opinion as a personal call to action.
Once again, the world experienced horrific acts of terrorism in Paris, France, in a nation that is among our greatest allies. Then, shortly after, right here in America where freedom is supposed to ring, we saw a brutal shooting – a murder, prosecutors say – of yet another young African American who will never get to experience the rest of his life, followed by a callous cover-up by authorities.
The reality is that the world is struggling with inclusion of differences, whether it is religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status or simply culture. My grandmother used to say, “What is the world coming to?” She didn’t know how right she was.
So where does this reality leave us? Our children have a frightening future if we don’t stop. Stop what? Being afraid!
Recently, I was watching a few TV shows that are responsibly bringing key messages to their audiences – and the audiences for these shows are huge. (Just ask Nielsen). One show had a particularly powerful message through a song that included the lyrics, “All lives matter…saving, strengthening, living is the power.” As the tears streamed down my face, I thought of the lives lost not only in Paris, in so many other countries where there is war every day and, yes, right here at home. Well after the tragedy in New York on 9/11, too many young men and women continue to die unnecessarily in our land of freedom. We seem to have lost control of our own consciences.
So here I am sharing with you my stream of consciousness thoughts founded on the basis of my belief that we all matter, that we all deserve a chance to live our best lives. I also believe there is a GOD who has given us free will, but our choices determine our paths and the consequences.
I absolutely believe that inclusion is our destiny. It may not truly happen in my lifetime or our children’s. But we must celebrate the victories, the milestones of progress and the small steps that bring about change. We cannot be afraid to agitate the status quo, to question what is not right and what is going on around us. We cannot be afraid of the truth. So I encourage every individual to remove the halos we use when we judge one another, accept one another for all of our imperfections and give everyone a chance to make their own choices. Even if they make the wrong choice, it can be corrected later.