America Can Never Give Us What We Refuse To Give America
We say we want our government to demonstrate reverence for human life. But, are we demonstrating this reverence we demand from our government?
We say we want justice. But, do we truly stand for justice in our own lives?
We say we want freedom from control. But, are we allowing those around us this same freedom?
We say we want our voice and our vote to be heard. But, do we give everyone a voice in our respective lives?
We say we want to be treated with dignity. But, are we treating others with dignity?
We say we want our rights to be respected. But do we respect the rights of those around us?
We say we want equality. But do we treat everyone equally?
We say we want our leaders to practice common decency with one another. But, collectively, we are far from being decent to others, especially those whose beliefs are out of alignment with our own.
The real demonstration of our willingness to stand up for equality, for human rights, and for what we believe, is in the little choices we all make every day in our own lives.
After all, it is the multitude of small choices made by us and those who have gone before us, over many years, that have accumulated to create the harsh reality we face today.
We cannot go to a protest against racism, then go to work and turn a blind eye to our bosses racist comment, if we truly wish to usher change.
We cannot participate in a movement for women’s rights, then continue supporting an organization that sexually exploits women, if we truly wish to honor women’s rights.
It is impossible to assemble a government that will stand up for and cares for us any more than we are willing to stand up for and care for ourselves and each other.
One person, one entity, one political party, one systemic issue, or one agenda, alone, is not to blame for the hate, division, violence, and chaos that permeates our country. Our reality has been created by an inconceivable number of little choices, made every day by people just like you and me. The big things are made up of all the tiny pieces and the tiny pieces belong to us.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.
― Albert Einstein
We can change laws.
We can protest.
We can rewrite history.
We can change the definitions in our dictionary.
We can disrupt the narrative.
We can change the figures and logos.
We can change street names and build community organizations.
We can elect certain officials.
We can even go to war.
We can tear everything down and start again.
Without our willingness, however, to care for and stand up for ourselves and each other — without giving that which we wish to receive and focusing within ourselves, we will create a new system that does not serve us any more than the last. Our system is defined by those who forge it.
No matter what we do, the government and our country will be a reflection of us and all our tiny pieces. The only way we can receive what we are so desperately asking for is for enough of us to give it.
If we wish to be free, we must first be brave.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com