It has been several months since my last post. While I can blame the busyness of my life for that, the true reason is that I have had a sad heart. I have been witnessing what has been happening in the world of identity politics moving away from a great way of bringing like-minds together to being twisted by some to pull this country apart. I have wanted to write something, say something, do something, but I didn’t want to cause a greater divide. Please hear my heart.
Let me start with – I am a huge advocate of affinity groups. I see great value when those with similarities join together to help each other, support a cause, drive for change, etc. That said, I believe we have overlooked one key element of these groups.
Within nearly every affinity group, there is diversity.
various ages, races and sexual orientation
different religions and political sides of the aisle
different upbringings and current financial status
And, in some women’s groups, men are welcome and often show up in support of gender parity!
So you see, even in that one example, the power of the affinity group is bringing a diverse set of women (& men)
TOGETHER – Diversity AND Inclusion.
When our focus is on the differences,
when we don’t see the value in what those differences can bring,
when we don’t realize that we are more alike than we are different,
we can unintentionally take a very small difference and use that as a wedge to divide us from one another.
When we look at someone who has a different belief set than we do and judge them as if they are not worthy or criticize them personally, we are tearing at the very fabric of what makes this such a great nation. The United States of America.
United We Stand. Divided We Fall.
We live in the most amazing country in the world. There are people from other countries literally dying to step foot onto the soil we have the privilege and blessing of walking on each and every day. And, for some of us, we may take that for granted.
Please know, I am not trying to say that there are not problems in our country. There are. There are REAL problems. And, because we live in a free country, we have the right to protest…peacefully protest. We should call out the injustices in the world so that we, together, can find a way to fix them.
Unfortunately, some protests have turned from peaceful to violent. And, some protests that started focusing on one issue, one cause, one problem that needed fixing…others have joined voices and mixed the message. So, while there are more voices, the overall message is not received.
Here is an example:There are professional athletes who have chosen to take a knee at the beginning of their sporting events. While I believe this started to highlight the social injustice in inner city communities, I have recently heard this may have evolved into a greater protest including the gender wage gap. Now, it appears some are kneeling just because they were told they couldn’t or shouldn’t.
Here is the problem… The focus IS NOT ON THE PROBLEM or the SOLUTION!
The focus and much of the media attention has been on who is kneeling, when they are kneeling, when will they stand up (and, yes, I am purposefully removing the discussion about the flag because that just clouds the issue). As long on the discussion is about kneeling, we are missing the opportunity to truly solve the problem the protest was trying to highlight.
While I believe we live in the greatest country on the planet, we still have opportunities for improvement – REAL IMPROVEMENT. And, together, we can find ways to solve the problems.
Whether you agree or disagree with when these individuals chose to kneel, I would say we ALL agree there are real problems in inner cities and we need real solutions.
Can we start focusing on that?
Because here is the real issue, there are mothers & fathers, brothers & sisters, friends & neighbors, real people – real Americans – WHO NEED OUR HELP!
Let’s stop talking about kneeling and start talking about solutions.
Let’s stop talking and actually do something to make a positive difference.
Let’s not let the world and identity politics divert our focus from what is important.
We can ALL get behind this. We can ALL stand together & UNITE. Together, We can #BeTheChange!
I am so very thankful for Your Love, Your Patience and Your Grace. Please help us to change our focus from what divides us to what unites us. Please help us lock arms together to find a real solution to this very real problem.
Lord, when we see someone who looks differently than we do or thinks differently than we do, help us to see that person through Your eyes. You created each one of us as unique individuals. You placed each one of us on this Earth for a special purpose. And, You have great plans for each and every one of us individually. And, I believe You have great plans for us collectively. Together, we are stronger. Please help us keep our focus on that.
Father, help us remember there are real people waiting for real answers. Please help us find those answers. Please help us put those solutions into practice to make a positive difference. Please help us Be the Change.
In Jesus’ Holy Name,