Combating Racism – Reaching Out Beyond Our Comfort Zone

As this is my last newsletter of 2020, I am taking a few minutes to reflect on the past twelve months. I began this year writing my weekly Best Self newsletters with a variety of personal growth topics and related journal prompts. But after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and after reading extensively about the difference between not being a racist and being an anti-racist, I switched the focus of my newsletter to focus on racial justice, race relations and the history of racism in our country. Some of my newsletters were educational. Some had a call to action. But whatever the topic, I have appreciated those of you who have read my words and taken the time to react and respond.

To you, my loyal followers, I offer the attached poem for your consideration. As we end this year of political divisiveness, rising daily death counts from the coronavirus, and threats to our justice system and our democracy, I encourage you to think about the work that we each can do to narrow the economic income gap, foster racial equity, ensure a more equitable justice system, and forge a more perfect union.

Time to take a breath

Now is a time . . .
of grief for the brokenness of things—
certainly, no time for gloating
nor for complacency.

We have work to do,
each of us.
We must ask the question—
always, ask the question—
"What is mine to do?"

And the answer, surely,
is to reach out,
beyond our comfort zone,
to find some way,
however small or insignificant seeming,
to connect with someone who seems,
on the face of things,
to be different from ourselves
and to learn, then,
how we are the same.

And that involves listening to their story.
This is nothing new.
We always have
this job to do.

- Bill Denham

A few thought starters:

Consider naming one thing, however "small and insignificant seeming," you think is your work to do to heal the issues facing us in our country.

In what one way, no matter how “small or insignificant seeming” can you connect with someone who seems to be different? Especially in these days of in-home restrictions, mask wearing and Zoom fatigue, who, or what type of person, might you choose to get to know and listen to his/her story?

As you ponder these questions, I wish each of you the most joyous of holiday seasons and a new year of peace, harmony and the realization of your most cherished dreams.

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