Any change in society has to start with the change within myself.Curtis Hoberman / F3 Dos Equis
Stand up. Take a deep breath. Extend your arms from your side as you do this. Lift your heels as you breathe in. Release slowly and fully. Recover.
Do this again. Do this one more time.
The simple act of breathing is something we do naturally and without thinking. We have been doing it our entire lives. We take it for granted. And we shouldn’t take it for granted.
We can breathe. George Floyd cannot.
We can breathe. Breonna Taylor cannot.
We can breathe. Ahmaud Arbery cannot.
We can breathe. Eric Garner cannot.
We can breathe. Freddie Gray cannot.
The list does go on and on. And it really shouldn’t.
This is a moment of reckoning right now, and in my heartbreak and pain, I am trying to figure out the way forward. I firmly believe that change in society and in our community needs to start with change within myself.
Do I really “love my neighbor as myself”? Do I really go the extra mile for a brother in need? Do I assume that someone else will attend to a need, so that I don’t need to respond? Do I care? Do I really demonstrate acts of care and compassion? Or am I just a good actor at this?
True caring and doing responsible action can take time and effort and cost, and can be inconvenient and just plain hard.
In 2019, my “one word” was “integrity.” I wanted to grow in consistency in my thought, my actions and my attitudes. I still struggle with this, but keep trying.
In 2020, my “one word” is “fearless”, and little did I know in January how I would be challenged on this daily. I want to be a person that moves forward in hope and with possibility. I keep trying.
It would be easy, perhaps too easy, to stop and make a very complete list of all the ways our society must change to be more equitable and just, to be kind and understanding, to bring up the next and future generations in a way that does not have the challenges of the present moment.
Any change in society has to start with the change within myself.
In looking within, I see my own shortcomings and limitations, yet I can see a glimpse of possibility.
I sincerely hold to the idea that the actions of an individual can make a difference. Positive change can happen, and it starts with the changes within me – in my thoughts, words and actions. Do not think wrongly that an one person’s actions towards change won’t matter or make a difference.
The efforts of one one person truly can make a difference. The greatness of our community, and our nation has been because of the efforts of volunteers, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, to make the world a better place by caring for the needs of others.
Start now. Take a deep breath.
F3 Dos Equis
4 June 2020