If you are over 28 years old, you have contributed to the current state of our country. That is my unscientific cutoff age.
You break it, you fix it.
The older we get, the more responsibilities we all have in our lives. But this is not the time for excuses and cheerleading. A lot of people are relying on Gen Z and Millennials to do something different. What has been done hasn’t and didn’t work, so we need some fresh perspectives and the energy of youth. But, if you’re alive, at any age, you have a job to do now, too.
Also, humans aren’t as savvy as we think and history gets repeated. Use your voice, share your wisdom, and tell your stories knowing that when you wake up every single morning -- until we head down the path of true reform to our systems (and people are no longer protesting) -- you will have work to do in the racial and social justice space (for years to come). Get started now, because if you haven’t already, you are late.
WE (as in all of us) are facing a human rights issue in our country. The road to recovery is long, hard, and we all have to do our part.
I understand the comfort of wanting to move on. We can’t just feel bad all the time, etc. etc. blah blah blah.
I regularly post about rainbows, sparkles, and loving each other. I’m not happy to be posting about this, but I do not ever want to experience what we’re experiencing anymore or again.
And I’m fully aware that today's circumstances in the U.S. may be seen as relatively small compared to what other countries have been through. I am being checked by my own privilege right now, and it’s humbling. I’m deeply sorry for all the times I’ve not shown up. None of us can fix all of the world's problems, and no one is asking us to. But I strongly recommend we don’t wait or look away.
Black people, take care of yourself, rest up, and keep going. Non-Black people, I’m not even going to talk to you about rest and getting rest, because some of you haven’t truly gotten started yet. Some of you are doing the absolute bare minimum to make yourself feel productive on this journey. We all know what that’s like, and we need to stop coddling.
So lots of advice and suggestions are available right now. No one can claim cluelessness, but some people still need to get uncomfortable to keep things moving.
So what is the easiest way to do that?
You break it, you buy it.
Doing the work on yourself and the system is harder than buying it.
And it’s easier for some of you. So I’m going to challenge you.
Give an uncomfortable amount of money or volunteer hours to a racial or social justice non-profit. One that stretches you to the point where you can’t get or do something that you personally want. This might make you get a little more involved and committed. (I’ve been using “working out” as an analogy/example. Reading a book about working out is different than actually going to the gym. And you know this.)
I’m not asking you to get evicted. I’m asking you to get uncomfortable.
“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything -- all she had to live on.’’ ~Mark 12:44
This is an opinion column written by Nancy Vaughn, Principal, PR and Marketing Director of White Book Agency, a full-service public relations, brand marketing, and special events firm.