The Light Within

Jun 16, 2020
Fluorescent lamps hanging from a grey-colored wall

Thanks for your patience while I paused on the creation of new content over the last few months.  We've had a lot going on since April and I took advantage of this time to witness the events as they unfold.  There's an important dialogue going on in this country and it has to do with race, and America's systemic racism that has defined our country since the beginning.  Please don't mistake my silence as a negligible attempt to undermine these efforts, it has simply been a time when I, as a white person, took a step back to understand my place in all of this.

Needless to say, I welcome all different types of people into my life and this includes blacks, yellows, greens, reds, whites, and all of the other color variations that you can imagine.  I also accept people into my life that have different sexual orientations, genders, lifestyles, and political preferences.  True, I don't always like the division that America's two-party political system tends to create, and I don't always participate in political dialogues, simply out of concern for decreasing the conflict that comes from two opposing parties, but I do accept all different types of people into my life.  What I don't do is hate.

I don't hate you for being black and I don't hate you for being gay, and I certainly don't hate you for being different than myself, or what I may idealize.  I don't hate you for being a women, and I don't hate you for being a man, and I don't hate you for being a man that dresses in women's clothing.  I don't necessarily agree with those sentiments, but that doesn't mean I hate you.  It's hard to hate, it closes your heart off from the rest of the world and makes it brittle with anger or fear.  It's hard to let go of the hate, and it's harder to let go of the anger that made you hate.

Learning to love yourself, and letting people be as they are, without harming yourself or another, is a test in itself.  It's easy to force your will upon another, it's more difficult to forgive yourself, while learning how to forgive one another.  That's not to say that I'm going to preach to you about forgiveness, that's not what I do, nor how I practice my spirituality.  What I will say is that this world is full of anger, and fear, and hatred, and all of those basic, negative, emotional states that we were taught to believe in from the beginning.  It's the choices that you make, and removing yourself, when possible, from those negative intentions that makes the difference.

So, I'm not a hater.  I'm a straight, white, male that accepts you as you are.  I know that's hard to believe, but that's at the heart of the awakening process.  Accepting yourself so that you may become more accepting of others, loving yourself so that you may then love one another, and forgiving yourself so that your heart is soft and full like the dew on a cool, spring day.  These aren't the things that many of us we were taught growing up, but they can be learned with practice.

I once knew a person whose husband was a member of a large, metropolitan, police force.  She would often claim, without apologies, and almost to the point of bragging, about how many complaints had been filed against him and his excessive use of force.  I never thought much about it then, but when combined with her extensive use of the “N” word, now find many similarities between what people of color, and their local police forces, must have always been going through.

I can't help but think that working on the streets of this large city, for however long he may have been doing so, would have certainly affected his perception of blacks.  I also can't help but think about how those choices affected his relationship with his then-wife, and how, in turn, they have affected my own.  In reality, I have too much respect for those that carry sidearms to work to be much of a bother to them.  In yet another reality, I also feel the need to be part of this call for change, where police brutality against blacks, browns, Latinos, and other people of color has become the norm.

I can't help but think that police members have secrets among themselves, that no one can know for sure, unless they are members of the same law enforcement community they serve in.  The thin blue line between law enforcement, and their memberships into hate groups, must be real and must be more widespread than the public is aware of, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.  I can't think of what it would be like to hate someone, or something, to the point of wanting to do it collectively.  I also can't think of how their religion could be used to justify their violence.  As if some particular group were closer to God, than the other.

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