If you’ve been around here a while you know that I like to address All of the Things (good AND bad) because I believe that is where clutter with thoughts, things, and people can come from. If you follow me on social you’ve likely seen my posts this week regarding the marches and protests.
Well I just watched a 60-second video on TikTok of a man who, through words on the screen, invited the viewer to sit in silence as the time passed. He said nothing. Only stood still in front of the camera.
As I watched him stand in that silence, I thought of George Floyd begging for his life. I thought of him calling out to his deceased Mama as he gasped for air. And I cried.
As the tears fell, I realized I’d been spending so much time being pissed off, that I never honored Mr. Floyd by feeling the pain below the anger. He didn’t have the privilege of running away from his discomfort through rage. Instead, he was forced to lay there and feel every second of that agony until he died.
Seeing the footage of his death and the subsequent coverage of the protests made the whole situation feel more like a movie than real life. This can’t be what continues to happen, can it?
And then I watched the man on TikTok and honored his request to stop and get quiet. That’s when the reality came back front and center.
Today, I ask you to do the same. Watch the short video at the end of this letter without distraction. Feel that full minute of silence and then remember that George Floyd spent 8 minutes and 46 seconds with former police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck as his life was slowly extinguished.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to heal this world. What I do know is that we have to do better.
I regularly redesign my life as needed and this latest version will include the following:
- I’ll be more aware of my privilege and find ways to use it for good.
- I’ll no longer give people who make discriminatory comments a pass.
- I’ll educate myself on the issues of BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) communities, and
- I’ll stop packaging myself in a way that makes others more comfortable.
Growth is uncomfortable and its through that discomfort that we learn and evolve.
Here’s that video. Watch it and feel whatever emotions come up. Be with them. For the full minute. Mr. Floyd deserves at least that much. Then, if you feel so called, take action to make a change. I’ve listed some resources below.
Here are some things you can do to help the Black Lives Matter movement:
- Black Lives Matter — an organization in the US, UK, and Canada with a mission to eradicate systemic racism, and to end violence against Black communities.
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund — Donations to this non-profit organization support voter protection, civil rights defenses, and more.
- Say Her Name — This non-profit organization addresses police violence and systemic issues affecting Black women and girls. Donations support policy reform initiatives, activism, and more.