The past few months will go down in history. The health pandemic created unbelievable challenges for nearly every business, and employers made the tearful decision to furlough or lay off entire teams. In every home with children, stressful e-learning days became the new norm as parents said goodbye to traditional education and “hello” to homeschooling. As hard as this season was, there were some bright spots too. Yes, business owners were fighting to survive, and possibly thrive during the unknown, but families had moments to pause and spend more time together. All travel stopped. The sporting activities that we sprint to make on time no longer existed. Many days quarantine felt as if time stood still. We lost track of days as they passed us by. The great outdoors became our playground and each sunny day in Ohio got us through all of those rainy days locked indoors. Don’t misunderstand, we had the same amount of work on our plate, but just an added bonus of having our children around 24/7. It’s in these moments, that we truly discover the resilience of human nature in crisis.
While time felt as if it stood still, one significant aspect of our world did not. Americans of color have been fighting for equality and fair treatment for centuries. The evil that took place during quarantine reminded us all of how dark people can be. George Floyd was not the first man to needlessly lose his precious life at the hands of men in power, but something was different this time.
Something snapped wide open. Not just in the hearts and minds of Americans of color, but in the hearts and minds of ALL Americans.
If you have read anything of mine, you know that many of my words and perspectives involve conversations around equality for women. I don’t apologize for my opinions on this topic and I won’t apologize for my truth in this short narrative either. All humans, all people, regardless of color, socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality or religious beliefs deserve to be treated with dignity, love and respect. I believe this. I am raising kids that believe this. Knowing this and establishing this truth in our children isn’t enough. I want to do more. We all do. I ask for forgiveness from my friends of color, my black friends who have endured so much. I want my kids to believe that not only do they need to treat others with kindness, but they need to be BRAVE enough to stand up and speak up when they see something racist happening at their school. I want my kids to choose to do the right thing, especially when it’s inconvenient, unpopular, or catches them off guard. I don’t want my kids to stand by like those three officers did with George Floyd.
I can do better as a citizen, woman and mother. I choose to do better. Thank you to all Americans of color. Thank you for the grace you’ve shown us. Thank you for letting us march with you. Thank you for leading the way for humanity, and for showing us how to truly be brave.