Few people ever get into a position of power or influence that allows them to effect changes at a state, regional or national level; however, all of us can heed the call to action that Pastor Freed posted today in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words – from the rapper Nellie – “If we don’t heal our ‘hood, who will?”
I have a tendency, as I suspect many do, while watching the nightly news casts, reading the paper or seeing things posted on-line to say things like “Somebody ought to do something about that”, or maybe “Somebody ought to fix that.” Those a cop-outs. The somebody who needs to do something is I. How can I look at a story in the news about systemic racism and not examine my own contribution to that problem- my fears or preconceived notions that lead me to jump to racist conclusions upon encountering a black person or to pull back for no good reason when encountering a member of the LBGTQ community. I am the somebody who needs to do something and that something starts with me.
I’m not sure that I would buy the argument from someone that they didn’t realize that they were reacting or acting in a prejudiced manner. The truth more likely is that they did know, but were not ready to change. Their kneejerk reactions to people different from them has nothing to do with the knee part of that label. They really have not come to the realization that their actions/reactions were sometimes hurtful and always wrong. Unfortunately, unlike plea deals in the law, there is no way to plead no contest to this realization. There is only right and wrong. Own up to whatever it is that you know you have been doing wrong and then (and only then) you can move on to be the Somebody who changes things and heals your hood.
Maybe a good way to start each day is to take the time when looking into your mirror (whether shaving or putting on makeup) is to ask yourself, “What can I do today to make a positive difference in my life or the life of someone else?” In the pause that will follow, I’m almost sure that something will come to mind about yourself that you could work on changing or improving. It will also help set your mind into a proactive mode to work for changes in your hood – to make things better for all.
So, who will heal our hood? The healing has to start with somebody. Be the Somebody!