Welcome to the first day of August.
I am acutely aware of how much our lives have changed since August 2019 – or even just since January 2020! In the USA, my home state of California has taken a huge step backward as we try to curb the upward spiral of COVID-19 cases; so many lives are infected and in grief, and businesses are shutting back down as are schools.
Add to this the spotlight on systemic racism, with black and brown people being dramatically more affected by COVID-19 with higher infection rates, higher morbidity, and more job losses. In addition, we see video after video of black and brown people being abused and killed by police and other citizens, which illuminates even more of the systemic racism that exists.
It is sometimes very challenging to take all this in, isn’t it…
When I do, I feel an overall and palpably growing awareness of worldwide unsureness and grief. More than at any other time that I can recall, I am acutely aware of:
- How my individual actions affect others (wearing a mask to protect others, making certain to check in with family and friends, monitoring how I interact with my especially at-risk family and friends, etc.,).
- We are all one worldwide people and we are in ‘it’ together.
- The advantages I have been given and currently receive because I am a white woman who was born and raised in the USA.
- The great importance of thinking about and supporting those who have not had the advantages I have received.
- Being careful and thoughtful about what is most important to me.
- How my individual actions matter.
As I was pondering this, a video created by POC4NVC came across my desk. It is a conversation with Leonie Smith, founder of People of Colour for Nonviolent Communication (POC4NVC); Mika Maniwa, trauma educator and certified trainer; and Sarah Peyton, neuroscience educator and certified trainer, about an event that happened in New York City this past May. Many of us in the USA and beyond have seen the video many times. What is especially interesting to me about this conversation is how Leonie, Mika, and Sarah unpack the video and provide practical tools for what a person experiencing a similar situation or a bystander could do to support de-escalation. It is insightful and well worth the 45 minutes to watch.
I take hope when I see so many people protesting for equal treatment of people – not just people of color, and not just people in the USA – but many people across the globe.
I take hope when I see world leaders in Asia and some European countries make bold moves toward eliminating COVID-19 in their countries with success. And I pray that other leaders (including ours) and individuals like you and me will be just as bold in our actions.
Where do you find hope?