Ferguson Isn’t About Ferguson

December 04, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on Ferguson Isn’t About Ferguson»

Every generation has its moment, its cause, and its contribution to progress that defined its generation.

These movements have always been rooted in advancing the cause of love and this generation’s cause is no different in that regard.

It is however different in the sense that it requires us to look deeper into the root of today’s injustices. It requires us to deeply understand the issues of our time and to refrain from conversations about who is right and who is wrong. Our generation’s movement calls us to ask the question:

“What needs to be healed here?”

I know enough to know that I don’t know many things for sure. One thing I do know for sure, is that the only time a human being acts in a way that is unloving, violent, destructive or addictive, it is directly related to current or repressed pain. Every single time that dysfunction of any sort is present, it is related to current or repressed pain. Every time YOU act in a way that is unloving it is related to current or repressed pain that you have.

What is the source of pain? It generally lies in mistreatment, humiliation, abuse, judgment and shame. It’s nearly undeniable that the degree to which a child is raised in this environment is directly related to their self-esteem, self-worth, and ability to express love and create success.

When the child grows up and becomes a parent, the same dysfunction is passed on to the next generation. As one generation advances in self-esteem and self-worth it gives the next generation a new level of possibility for success and love. A simple question to one’s self confirms this basic truth: “Do you have more opportunity to succeed than your parents did?”

If this is so, then there is a clear link between our previous generation and the success of the next and the next and the next.

If we look at how this applies to impoverished black neighborhoods in America, the legacy of slavery and racial inequality is undeniable. It is so undeniable that it seems silly to write it as though it’s surprising.

Even if we were to dismiss the impact of slavery on African-American families, we only need to look back to our parent’s and grandparent’s generation. An entire nation treated black people, in its words, its actions and its laws, as less than human beings. How else can you explain segregation, discriminatory hiring, violence and hangings on the basis of the skin color. The sum of communication to black Americans in our parent’s and grandparent’s generation, people who today are older than age 60 were told that they didn’t matter and that they were fundamentally not enough.

I want you to imagine the entire world telling you in every way possible that you aren’t enough, that you aren’t lovable and that you aren’t worthy of a water fountain, much less a good job. Many Americans don’t have to strain to hard to imagine, particularly if you are a woman, gay, an immigrant or poor.

Would you be angry? Would you be sad? Would you be deeply hurt? Would you never want to be vulnerable again? Would you bury your pain way below where you wouldn’t have to feel it? Would you believe in yourself? Would you be peaceful? Would you turn to drugs or alcohol to escape this nightmarish reality?

What kind of parent would you become and what kind of kids would you raise? Even with your best efforts, your children would intuitively understand that there if fundamentally something wrong with their parents and therefore themselves.

If we ask the question: “What needs to be healed here?” in regards to Ferguson and the nerve that this event has struck across the nation we find that the issue becomes much clearer.

What needs to be healed here is every human being who is hurting, who has been forgotten and dismissed.

We (as in every American, especially those with a voice) have a responsibility to acknowledge the devastating impact of slavery, the atrocious decades of overt racism and the less visible form of covert racism today that shows up in unwillingness to empathize with others and a total avoidance of responsibility.

We have a responsibility to respond to all acts with love. And if love doesn’t stir you, let’s at least respond with intellect. People are hurting on the inside. They don’t believe in themselves. They have been abused, traumatized, mistreated, unloved, discriminated against and shamed. Our problems aren’t as obvious as they were 50 years ago, thank God. At the same time, our problems are just as serious.

This is our generation’s movement and it requires us to look beyond the surface, beyond our reactions and our need to be right. We need to lift the veil and lift up all people.

This isn’t a black or white, rich or poor, gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, man or woman thing… It’s a human being thing.

Let us come together and transform the way we see the world and its challenges.

Let us all rally around a movement to heal where there is hurt all over the world. Let’s start with ourselves. What do you need to heal?

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