We hurt others without realizing that by doing so, we are hurting ourselves.
Braiding is a way of creating one out of many, which is precisely what is happening right now as thousands of people protest around the world. Racism is more alive than ever in this country and I truly wasn’t aware that it was present even in the smallest details, such as band-aids and ballet flats that are mostly available for white skin.
The last couple of days, a lot has happened: I’ve never been more overwhelmed by news, and at the same time so disappointed regarding how little I understood of the daily struggles of African Americans in this country. It’s easy to live in a bubble, but we can’t allow ourselves to be blind to other realities. One of the biggest challenges of technology and social media is that the news we consume, and the people we follow tend to be in relation to our lifestyle, and where we click. In time, algorithms blind us and narrow our perspective of life. We can’t allow for that to happen. I have to be more intelligent than that.
Below, a quote by James Baldwin that has been often in my mind. We must understand ourselves better.
“The framework in which we operate is going to kill us. I believe, that if we understood ourselves better, we would damage ourselves less. But the barrier between oneself and one’s knowledge of oneself is high indeed. There are so many things one would rather not know! We become social creatures because we cannot live any other way. But in order to become social, there are a great many other things that we must not become, and we are frightened, all of us, of these forces within us that perpetually menace our precarious security. Yet the forces are there: we cannot will them away. All we can do is learn to live with them. And we cannot learn this unless we are willing to tell the truth about ourselves, and the truth about us is always at variance with what we wish to be. The human effort is to bring these two realities into a relationship resembling reconciliation.”
And the journey continues.