Friday, November 21, 2008

being the change

The following post is a tad more serious than most of my posts on ALifeLesOrdinary, but it is something that has been on my heart and my mind for the past week and this is my honest attempt to put it into words. My hope is that it will challenge and inspire you.

Christina and I sat in her kitchen last January sipping peppermint hot chocolate and discussing our views on life. You see, Christina and I are good at this, and in a matter of hours we can solve many of the worlds problems with a few great debates. We sit respectfully on opposite sides of the political fence, but on this night could see eye to eye on one thing. We decided that we did not want to raise our children in the world in which we were raised and with that thought in mind adopted a motto between the two of us. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

We want our children to be raised in a place where people of different colors and race are NOT viewed negatively or less than anyone else. True racial equality and meeting in the middle. In my opinion, the civil rights movement happened close to 50 years ago, and while most public places are integrated, little has come by the way of attitude and vision of seeing all as equally human. As the year has played out I've thought about that conversation and our motto on many occasions. It has helped shape my thoughts, my behavior, my language and my attitude.

I stumbled upon an article the other day about the racial happenings surrounding the presidential election and couldn't help but read to see what's being going on. I will go on the record right here and now to say that I never intended to vote for Barack Obama and I did not vote for Barack Obama due to my own political convictions not aligning with his, but as a fellow human being I respect him and the office he will soon hold. For the record, I've really enjoyed his interviews and press conferences post election ~ he's funny & charming! I wasn't surprised that there were incidents around the country, but one that shocked me was one that happened at my alma mater ~ Baylor University.

The day after the election there was a noose found tied to a tree in the middle of campus.

This horrific act of ignorance turned my stomach and made me feel ashamed and embarrassed to be associated by degree to that university. And ignorant it is, because while racial equality is something yet to be grasped, I believe there isn't a soul in my generation that can truly wrap our brains around the hatred and torture that embodied our land many years ago. The thing is, I think it's easy to point a finger at Baylor and say how dare you allow such ridiculousness?

And I did that for a few days until I it dawned on me. If I MUST be the change that I wish to see in the world my attitude had to go. It's about forgiveness and me. I can not force people around me or even people of other races to be different, think different or act different, and while I believe their actions are punishable by dismissal I can only be me. I can act out and think out and live out how I want that world to be and my hope is that soon many others will follow my lead.