Windows and Mirrors - No Pain, No Gain -Florence Sprague - July 2020

“[What should you do?] Educate Yourself!” Ava Duvernay, PBS Newshour Special, June 5, 2020

You don’t really need me to tell you this. It is everywhere these days. It being discussion of inequities, disparities, misunderstandings, being ignored, or glossed over. But white people really must educate themselves and begin acting. Our collective future depends on it, as well as our souls.

It will not be comfortable. I have worked, read, and tried to grow for years and yet I still feel dismayed, even dumb-founded at times, by my own ignorance. There is always so much more to grapple with. So, don’t quit just because it is uncomfortable. Pause…then return. Discomfort is good; it can lead to insight if you let it. Think about athletes—they know that hard exercise can result in physical pain but lead to stronger muscles and greater endurance. The same can apply to attitudes—if we sit comfortably inside our old attitudes without testing and challenging them, we don’t grow.

This is a sampling from about a week in the spring—ideas for reading and listening to the perspectives and emotions and needs of black Americans. The internet is our friend here; you can find these things and so much more, there. Look for curated or edited cites, not rant.

Read, watch, think, and yes, squirm, along with me, but then look for your place in the societal overhaul needed. On the one hand, the problems sound so overwhelmingly large as to freeze our ability to act. On the other hand, the immensity of the problem also means that every contribution to change and improvement is needed and needed now.

Two quotes I saw or heard this week particularly stuck with me. In an image from the George Floyd Memorial in Minneapolis, “This is our collective PTSD.” And a woman protesting in Ohio defending the public outrage sometimes turning violent ,“YOU broke the social contract!”

We have an opportunity. Don’t let it slip away. Throw open the curtains and look through as many windows as you can and SEE.