When my daughter was little, she had a classmate at her daycare that was from Nigeria. She was a beautiful girl with the most gloriously smooth blue-black skin and big brown soulful eyes. She asked me why her friend’s skin was a different color than hers. I paused for a moment knowing that whatever came out of my mouth would shape my child’s view of the world (no pressure!) and the people in it… gratefully, I had a divine moment of thought intervention and said, “You know how when you go into a garden and there are lots of flowers and they’re all different shapes, sizes, and colors but each of them is beautiful? Well, people are like that… all different and all beautiful.” She nodded in agreement and went off to play with her friend… I so wish I could impart that wisdom to the entire world right about now.
Fast forward 20+ years and my daughter is now an amazing young woman and married to a wonderful young man who is Filipino. A while back, she confided in me that she was scared at what was going on with the racism that was rearing its ugly head especially given that she was a white woman married to a brown man… and I told her, in a way, it was a silver lining… like a deeply infected wound, it needed to be broken open to let the light in to heal it… that wound cannot be hidden anymore… we truly see it and how infected it is and how much healing is needed… and the other silver lining is this is spurring people of all colors and genders to get involved, to run for office, to stand up.
With great change comes great chaos. I know it’s a scary time and we are all affected by what is going on in one way or another, some more than others, and it may feel overwhelming but I believe that we all have the ability to affect change in our world no matter what kind of flower we are. I encourage anyone who is reading this to do one small thing today – a donation, a letter, a conversation, a gesture, watch or read something to educate yourself – and follow that with another the next day and start a tradition of inspiring change in your life and share that with others and together we can make a difference and help heal that wound. Y’know that old saying “The Buck Stops Here”… well, my new saying is “The Change Starts Here.” It’s time.