Praying for Peace
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
As I sit here reflecting on the state of our country, the main thing that comes to mind is sadness. If COVID wasn't enough already this year, we are all being reminded of the ever-present racism and police brutality that still exists in our country. This to me, is honestly just sad. The fact that people can't just treat each other with kindness, fairness and equality, is beyond me.
Ever since I saw the video of George Floyd's death, I cannot shake it from my mind. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I wonder how scared he was, how lonely he felt, when he knew he would die, how the situation ever escalated to what it did. I wonder what his family is feeling and how his daughter will feel growing up without a father. I wonder how another human can continue to shove their knee into someone's neck when they are begging for their life. I wonder what has happened to humanity to allow someone to think that is acceptable behavior. I wonder how people, especially fellow police, could stand there and watch that happen. I wonder what I would have done if I was there.
I know that I, as a white person, will never know what it is like to be prejudiced against merely for the color of my skin. I am extremely privileged to be able to walk down the street, go to the grocery store and breathe, without constant fear of being assaulted or killed. I am thankful for this, but feel immensely hurt for the large population in our country that does not share this privilege. No one should ever have to fear for their life like so many black people do. I was taught that you treat all people with the utmost kindness. It does not matter where they are from, what color their skin is, what disease they have, anything. They are a person. They have a heart. They have a family. They have a life worth living. They have a purpose.
The last two nights I have sat glued to the television, watching the protests unfold. I commend the bravery of everyone that is participating, from the protesters, to the police officers, to the National Guard, to the reporters. I am proud of the protesters that are voicing their message, standing up for what is right and hopefully leading us to some long overdue change. I am proud of my friends who were brave enough to march. Without efforts like this, our current state of inequality remains static. These voices deserve to be heard and should have been heard long before now.
I am proud of the law enforcement professionals that are risking their lives to ensure none of the civilians are harmed. As much as I know that there are terrible police officers out there, there are so many more that do amazing work each and every day. A few bad people should not ruin the reputation for the majority that are good. Thank you all for your service.
I am proud of the reporters who are putting their lives at risk to allow us to feel informed and share in the protest virtually. I feared for them as I watched. I witnessed three journalists get assaulted on live television for doing their jobs. That is just not right.
I can honestly say that as much as I want to be a part of this much needed movement, I am scared. What started as civil and peaceful protests, quickly turned to violence in some areas. Last night, I watched as my beautiful city of Boston was being lit on fire and looters were tearing up Newbury Street. I watched a video of someone stealing the iconic autism awareness horse at Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, a place that holds such a deep place in my heart. I was in shock. I was afraid to sleep. I woke up at 5:45 wide awake, my mind swirling with questions and fear. I keep thinking why and how? Why is any of this happening and how does this help bring justice for George and so many others? How is taking something from another vulnerable population okay? The destruction only brings more sadness and economic hardship for a society that has already been hit so hard the past few months. The fact that people are being opportunistic during such a time of crisis is sickening.
As I am writing this, I just sit here completely baffled. I don't understand how these absolutely horrific and inhumane murders continue to happen. I don't know how officers and civilians that do this are not reprimanded and charged immediately. I don't know how policies are not being changed to ensure these situations do not occur. I don't know why more action isn't being taken at the governmental level. I don't know how people can live with such hate in their hearts.I don't know why people think even more violence is the answer. I don't know how America, which was once the greatest country in the world, has come to this. I don't know why there is so much constant sadness. I don't know how we move past this.
I wish more than anything that we could live in a country where everyone just had each other's best interests in mind and followed the law. As someone that truly believes that every person has goodness inside of them, I will continue to treat people with respect and kindness. I will continue to try to learn about things that I will never truly understand. I will find my own ways to support this movement for equality. I will educate myself on what I do not know. I will pray for better days and justice.
For those reading this, know that I see you and I hurt with you. You are worthy of everything this life has to offer and you should never have to live in fear. I hope that when my children and grandchildren read this one day, our country will be different. I hope that by that time, change has been made. I hope that they will never witness racial injustice in their lifetime, towards them or towards anyone else. I truly hope that this world is a better place for them because right now, it does not feel like a safe or peaceful place to me.
Praying for Peace,