Where do we go from here? This country just celebrated its 244th year of Independence, this past July 4th. We are still in middle of a pandemic; many are not working and still laid off. Some may be forced to go back to work and feel very uncomfortable doing so, not knowing what to expect. Schools are calling for students and teachers to come back and as a country, we are still rocking and reeling from a little over eight minutes that not only changed one man’s life for the worse but many people’s lives, maybe for the better. This chain reaction of events caused many to protest the string of violence throughout the early spring and into the summer.
As I sit at my dining room table and look out of the window a couple of weeks ago, my son Micho (13), says to me “Dad what do we do now?” This in response to a conversation I was having with my wife that sounded much like the first paragraph. With a confused look on my face, I told him “LIVE, we still gotta do life”. I did not really know what I meant until I got back to work and had the honor of addressing the team in our Monday team gathering. All of the emotion of the summer’s events came rushing over me. As I spoke at our “Community Monday”, I began to get emotional as I talked about the team taking care of each other and respecting each other’s differences. What I wanted to say specifically was that we must L.I.V.E.
“Listening and learning from people who are skilled at articulating more than one side of an argument, agreement is not necessary, understanding is the key.”Damany Rahn, Director of Strategic Partnership
How might one L.I.V.E? Here is one possibility to LIVE by. Listening and learning from people who are skilled at articulating more than one side of an argument, agreement is not necessary, understanding is the key. One should investigate what you do not know and maybe thought you knew-dig deeper. One should volunteer in places and spaces that stretch your comfortability. You will know that you have totally engrossed yourself in that place when you have befriended someone that does not look like or sound like you. Once comfortable, meaning you have learned all that this place has to offer, move to the next uncomfortable space.. Finally, explore ways to do things differently. I am not talking about having “Taco Tuesday or Soul food Sunday” and now you are culturally sound, I am talking about one enmeshing oneself in other cultural experiences that causes you to question why you do something the way you do and why others do it this way? Here’s a freebie-instead worshipping at your local, usual place go to a Mosque, or Temple-seeing things from another’s point of view is essential.
This acronym is just the beginning of what one should do to open the door and began to feel comfortable being uncomfortable; your life will be enriched! I am not saying volunteering is the cure for injustice but what I am saying is it can be a first step in learning compassion and engaging in community. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” If we decide to invest in ourselves as well as the community, we will learn much about others and the bigger role we could play in the community.In this current time, you can further assist and support the Heart Ministry Center by going to our website, www.heartministrycenter.org and supporting our general operating fund, the “Dignity Fund,” you are helping us support and provide services to clients that will not have them in this unstable time. Furthermore, by volunteering with us you take that step towards community as well as enriching the lives of those around you.