Well, there certainly hasn’t been a lack of things to write about in the last week so I guess no one to blame but me and my own time management for both posting anything. Getting back into the swing of blogging, I’ve been processing a lot of what has been going on in the U.S. and around the world lately. Bloody is one word to describe it, tragic hits the mark as well.
And as I think about the events of today in Baton Rouge, a few thoughts come to mind that I’d like to share with you guys:
- We tend to have the hard conversations when hard times are upon us. This is unfortunate since we’re usually very emotional during those times. When it comes to race, police brutality, understanding culture through the eyes of those police officers who are NOT breaking the law or abusing their position, and all the rest we could talk about, we are generally silent when our speech could be most productive.
- It’s usually the outliers at the margins who are loudest. We all know this and yet we rarely ever seem to have the boldness to speak into that conversation until something tragic hits the news.
- There are other conversations on other topics that we’re not having right now because there isn’t a news story about them. We should be.
So for lack of a magic bullet answer to all of society’s woes, can I just offer one suggestion? Can we please have more awkward conversations? We need them. We need for the ordinary people of this country, heck of this world, to just talk about race, religion, politics, gender issues, and a myriad of other volatile topics more regularly.
We need to talk more to people whose perspective we don’t share or aren’t familiar with. We need have those awkward conversations with other ordinary people like us in our daily lives; not because it solves the problems of our culture, but because it makes us more informed and capable problem solvers in that culture.
Don’t know a police officer? Befriend one and learn about the daily challenges they face.
Look at the last 5 contacts on your phone that you’ve called/texted. What race or ethnicity is missing? Go cultivate some friendships.
Get to know people of other sexual orientations or gender identities, or someone who doesn’t understand yours with the intent of getting to know them.
Have a conversation about religion or politics in which you care more about the person than their stance.
For the love of God, whatever you do, please have more awkward conversations before tragedy forces them upon us (again) in an ill-timed manner. Let this be an opportunity for unity and growth.
Grace & Peace