I’ve stared at a blank screen for months now. Not knowing what to write. Not knowing who I wanted to be behind the words. I felt restricted, like if I said the wrong thing the vulnerability of being human would be unmasked…and I wasn’t sure if I wanted everyone to know how imperfect and ignorant I could be. But this liberating feeling that comes with accepting the authenticity that is me, has lead me to start typing out words on pages again. Moving forward, you might not agree with what I have to say. I shed some layers of myself that really weren’t myself. I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me and I started focusing on what I thought of myself. And taking a hard look at myself wasn’t easy. And this is what I want to lead into today, with everything going on in this country, the concept of self reflection. These are my thoughts, unfiltered and unedited:
During the climate we are in with coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter Movement, this concept i’ve been muling over in my mind for years now has been a constant lately. This concept looks at the bridges between Ignorance to Knowledge to Action. We as humans hate when we are wrong. We don’t like feeling ignorant, because it makes us feel less than. Another fact about humans is that we need community. We need this community so bad, that we tend to adopt the ideology, beliefs, etc. of said community without doing further research if this is something you individually believe as “truth.” So when we are apart of a community, that is what we inherit as our truth. Of course, there are many circumstances like growing older and leaving your community because you realize you don’t agree with their foundational core beliefs, or the fact most people are apart of multiple communities. But the main point is that unless you actively seek out other opinions and beliefs, you will remain in the bubble of your community and thus only absorbing the knowledge that community collectively owns. It is your duty to expand your knowledge. You must look within yourself, take down your pride wall, and realize you have more learning to do. But this is a two way street, if someone is coming to you in their vulnerable ignorance, you have to have compassion while they are learning. For example, say someone didn’t know that calling a transgender woman by the wrong pronoun would be offensive. Let’s also say this person has never met a transgender individual before. Would it be right to berate that individual for not knowing or should we explain to them with loving-kindess that what they said/did was offensive? This is how we can bridge the gap between ignorance to knowledge. We need to have healthy, vulnerable conversations with one another to explain our feelings. And feelings are always valid. We are constantly going to be cycling through ignorance to knowledge, because we should be gaining new information constantly. And the point is to be flexible, you have to be okay with changing your mindset based off of a conversation someone has with you. You have to be okay with being wrong, and you must actively listen instead of waiting your turn to prove your point.
NOW, here is the big kicker- ONCE YOU KNOW THAT SOMETHING YOU SAY OR DO IS HARMING OR OFFENDING SOMEONE, YOU SHOULD NOT DO IT ANYMORE. This is the bridge from knowledge to action. Something so basic and seems like common sense, but so many people don’t live this out. If you have hurt someones feelings, why would you keep saying that same slur over again? If you have voted for someone who puts down other humans, why do you keep voting for them? If you know what is being discussed around you in a party would hurt someone, why aren’t you speaking up to defend them? We forget that everyone is in the largest community together- the human race. No one person is greater than the other. We are all equal. So shouldn’t it cause you to take action when people from your community are being told time and time again that they are not equal? That their lives don’t add up enough to yours? This is so much more than politics. This is so much more than religion. This is so much more than your comfort. This is about one human to another sticking up for them and taking action. Taking action = showing love. So what’s holding you back from showing love?
We are all connected. We are all interwoven into this breath of life together. It’s hard to love those who show you hate. But it’s got to be a lot harder for those who harbor such hate within themselves. I think we all need to do some self reflection on what it means to love one another. Be patient and vulnerable in your ignorance. Be steadfast in your learning for more knowledge. Be courageous enough to take action for the greater good of all mankind.
I hope you choose love above all else,