Updated: Jun 16
When I look back on my last blog post, I only feel shame. Three weeks ago I wrote a post on 5 things that I learned while in quarantine. The highlights from that post were that I learned to wash a sweater and I learned to love my family. Wow. What the hell was I doing for 75 days that the only two things that I learned was to love the people that I already loved and to wash a sweater???
In the short three weeks since that last post, I feel as though a wave has crashed over me. The Black Lives Matter Movement has exposed the ugly truth about our country, the world, and has caused me to question my own heart. I have learned that there is SO MUCH MORE that I need to learn. Obviously the bar was pretty low to start.
Although I pride myself on being an accepting and caring person, upon further self reflection, I am ashamed of both my actions and my inactions. When I reflect on the image that this brand represents, I see very few diverse faces and bodies, a standard that does not reflect our reality or even beauty for that matter. And while I pledge that this will change, these actions while important, are meaningless without a greater change in my own heart.
Change for me will be speaking up a during a racist joke and no longer caring if that makes the situation uncomfortable. Change will be implementing an action plan in my family that includes volunteering and mobilizing my children toward making the world a better place. But most importantly of all, change will mean treating EVERY human being with decency and respect.
Last week, while driving into the city, a homeless black man approached my car at a stop-sign to ask for money. (To be honest many times I don't even roll down my window, an act which brings me shame to admit.) On this day, I rolled down my window to give him a dollar. When I gave him the dollar, he reached out to touch the wedding ring on my finger. To my surprise, he said, "I'm sad to see you're taken." A smile rushed over my face as he delivered the compliment.
Although I doubt that this man had any intention taking me on a date, I do believe his presence in my life at that moment was to remind me not judge a book by it's cover.
As part of my family's action plan, I will be volunteering at and contributing financially on a monthly basis to Breakthrough a women and family shelter in the heart of Chicago. Breakthrough provides housing, education, meals, and support to our communities in need. I realize that these contributions are a small drop in the bucket in an ocean of injustice, but these are my first steps on a journey toward being a better person and doing better for my community.
My hope is that ultimately my actions will not only reflect and celebrate the diverse beauty of this world but reflect a beautiful desire to change own broken heart.