TODAY’S THOUGHT (2/29/16): Our systems and institutions are racist and sexist and biased in many ways precisely because human beings are racist and sexist and biased in many ways.
Those words are scary for a lot of people. I get that, I really do. I also realize that such proclamations may seem odd coming from an organization which seeks to highlight the good manifesting in the world and to be part of a cultural transformation toward more caring, just, sustainable communities.
However, transformation requires healing. We need to face these longstanding, deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviors; we need to examine what lies behind and fuels the anger and hatred of “the other.”
The world is steeped in animosity toward “the other.” Still, in 2016. Many are only now awakening to the truth that this othering, and the hatred and bullying which accompanies it, is real. Of course, those who have been on the receiving end of the oppression and bullying have been acutely aware that it is real, trying to get others to see what they experience on a regular basis and have over many generations.
Do you know what lies behind these beliefs and behaviors? Fear. Fear of The Other.
Can we face our fears? I believe we can, if we can allow ourselves to care. Our paths to healing must begin with care: Caring about, in order to care for and, ultimately, to care with one another.
Regarding our systems and institutions, I believe this focus on “systems change” (which I’ve done as well) is disingenuous without also looking very honestly at the truth that HUMAN BEINGS create and perpetuate these systems and institutions.
Until enough of us look at these hard truths and work together to transform our CULTURE — our behaviors and beliefs — I don’t see how there can be meaningful systems change. You can force change from the top down, but lasting change must involve a change within ourselves and spread at a grassroots level, affecting change in our families, communities, institutions and our societies.
Our society in the US has never truly done the hard work of allowing these wounds — these truths — to have air and sunlight, which are necessary elements for healing. We cover them up with Band-Aids, and escape from the pain in myriad ways so that we never heal at an individual let alone a societal level.
Now we have Donald Trump and his followers, many of whom harbor white supremacist, nationalistic beliefs, believing they are superior to The Others. This is an obvious manifestation of our festering collective boils of fear and hate.
We have to do the hard work for true transformation on any level to take place. That won’t happen without facing these hard truths. Only when truth is embraced can justice prevail. And without justice, there can be no peace. Not really.
I care about this deeply. I know I’m not alone. I want real transformation and genuine, lasting peace as the ultimate goal. We may never achieve it or experience it, and how we walk the path toward that destination matters, but I have hope our children, or our children’s children will experience this transformation.
This work toward healing and transformation begins with expanding and deepening our capacity to CARE.
With care comes connection and relationship;
With relationship comes the opportunity to see truth and build trust;
With trust comes heartfelt compassion and empathy;
With compassion and empathy come justice and healing;
With justice and healing comes peace;
With PEACE we can create meaningful, sustainable lives, communities and societies.