From race and sexuality to class and religion and everything in between, it can be really challenging to push yourself to have these difficult, mature, respectful conversations. For many, these topics are heavy, emotionally charged, and deeply personal. Of course it makes sense to steer clear of such conversations, and quite frankly, it’s the easy thing to do. Who wants to offend others? Who wants to be judged based on their political and/or moral beliefs? Who wants to second guess everything they were taught and, in turn, the very people who imparted such knowledge? No one ever wants to be that guy, but think about all the good that’s come from folks who were courageous enough to stand up and spark lively conversations about challenging topics: Angela Davis. Tim Wise. Jane Adams. Jimmy Carter. Marian Wright Edelman. Cesar Chavez. Helen Keller. Nelson Mandela. Gloria Steinem. Howard Zinn. And the list of fearless folks goes on and on and on. Again, the work they did and conversations they started were overwhelmingly difficult, and yet they were also—and more importantly—life changing. They leaned into the discomfort, and so should you!
Nigerian girls missing, Ebola ravaging West African countries, ISIS terrorizing innocent civilians, Bubonic plague spreading throughout Madagascar, and hundreds of thousands of people losing the battle against social justice every. single. day. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and I oftentimes feel angry, sad, confused, powerless, and just plain tired. Tired of the fighting. Tired of the hatred. Tired of the pain. Tired of the judgment. Tired of it all. When will it end? When will love finally drive out hate? When will darkness give way to light? When will we know justice and peace? When will we be the change we want to see in the world?
Everybody’s been there/Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy/Fallen for the fear/And done some disappearing,/Bow down to the mighty/Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue. (“Brave” by Sara Bareilles)
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath/Scared to rock the boat and make a mess/So I sat quietly, agreed politely/I guess that I forgot I had a choice/I let you push me past the breaking point/I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything/You held me down, but I got up (hey!)/Already brushing off the dust/You hear my voice, your hear that sound/Like thunder, gonna shake the ground/You held me down, but I got up/Get ready ’cause I had enough/I see it all, I see it now. (“Roar” by Katy Perry)