This is a difficult topic — both to discuss with you, but also in finding the words to do so. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve deleted whole paragraphs and started again.
How do I communicate what I really want to say about this topic?
How do I make it relevant?
How do I keep it succinct yet powerful?
I’m not sure I’ve got it right, but I’m sharing it now anyways. Racism needs to be acknowledged, understood and challenged.
It’s time to talk!
How about a few examples of racist comments. Racism can be subtle or ‘hit-you-between-the-eyes’ bold:
Minimizing racism by comparing it to other issues:
“It’s true that maybe they’ve experienced racism, but I’m ________ (fill in the blank with any particular group) and feel like I’ve been discriminated against as well.”
“These people just need to get over it. I can’t believe they are still talking about this after all these years.”
And some are really ignorant:
“I feel disrespected as a white person. It’s time for me to stand up for my own rights.”
Racism is a topic that can alienate people — likely because they don’t feel like they are part of the problem, or they feel that racism really isn’t an issue. And, therein lies the big challenge — having people actually acknowledge that racism is real and that they need to play a role in eliminating it.
If you are steadfast in your belief that, “I’m not racist, nor do I do things that could be construed as racist”, then this post isn’t for you, because you’re not ready to be part of the solution — your mind is closed.
But, if you’re open to really exploring it then let’s begin …
My daughter is studying to become a counsellor. She has an innate ability to connect with others, and in particular with children — I view her as a “child whisperer”. In her studies, they have been discussing microaggressions and she thought it would make a great blog topic. She was right!
Let’s start with a definition:
MICROAGGRESSION – A term used for commonplace daily verbal, behavioural or environmental slights, whether intentional or not, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative attitudes towards stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups.
Remember, they can be intentional or unintentional slights. The important part is that they communicate negativity.
Today’s topic has both a professional and personal focus. I’m feeling particularly reflective and wanted to share my thoughts with you on a topic that is important to me.
I have previously blogged about GRATITUDE … back in Oct 2017 (Gratitude- Happy Thanksgiving). Now, almost 5 years later I still think about it — actually, pretty much every day I try to find gratitude in things around me.
I want gratitude to frame a large part of my thoughts — as I believe this mindset builds my sense of hope, increases my resiliency and builds my optimism for tomorrow.
As I get older, I believe that I am seeing the world from a better vantage point. I find that having gratitude aligns pretty well with my degree of happiness. I look for opportunities to be grateful — certainly for what I have, but also for the new lessons that life provides, and for the people (and pets) who make my life better. There will always be stuff we need or want — it’s fun to have new shoes or a new pair of jeans. But, we know that material happiness is fleeting and certainly not related to gratitude.