Recently, I’ve been doing quite a bit of training and learning about equity. Truth is, equity is something that I’ve understood, yet never experienced, for all of my life. Equity and equality are distinctly different things. Equal is just that; equal. There are few things in life that are truly equal. Equity is another matter. Equity revolves around fairness. As an African American man, before I was taught how to read, write, and demonstrate understanding of mathematics, I was keenly aware that for people like me, nothing is fair. I have spent my entire life overcoming obstacles, climbing mountains, breaking barriers, defying the odds, praying, hoping, and waiting for my turn. My turn. Since the first slaves touched the soils of this Country in 1619, my people have been waiting for their turn. They have been waiting for their turn to be truly human. They have been waiting for their turn to truly be heard. They have been waiting for their turn to be considered American. To this day, we are still waiting. Now, I wish it to be known that I would never condemn anyone for a crime that they, themselves, have not committed. However, I do condemn society for remaining silent in the face of injustice. I do condemn society for turning a blind eye simply because it didn’t directly effect the viewer. I do condemn our government for actively working against us. I do feel condemnation. However, because I don’t want to only know the fire of rage and pain, I am also willing to forgive and begin again. Through my equity lens, I am well aware of the diagnosis. However, very few are willing to work on the cure. Why? The cure is going to require us to step outside of ourselves, our norms, and our common practices in order to do something different. The cure. I am a human being. Although I wasn’t born with much, I did a great deal with what I was born with. As a child, I dreamed of a world that included me. There was once a time when I believed that anything was possible for me. As I grew older, the silent rules and commonly accepted practices convinced me that my possibilities were limited. I love my mother. Truth is, I wanted to be something because I knew that she wanted the same for me. My mother gave up her dreams in order for mine to blossom. I wanted to see the side of the world that I only saw on television. I sometimes dance when I’m alone, and I HATE spinach and garlic. I say those things to say that I am a human. I am not a monster. I am human. As a human, I want to say to my fellow humans that we need to begin again. We need to recognize our similarities rather than focus and capitalize off of our differences. We love, we laugh, we lose, we win, we begin, and we sometimes begin again. That is the human experience. I believe that the time has come for us to be honest with one another. Let’s talk. After we talk, let’s embrace, never look back, and begin anew. I firmly believe that love is the answer to all things. Let’s discover the essence of love together. Let’s make the world into the place that we believed it was when we were children. Let’s look at the color of our skin as beautiful differences in the same tree. We are all the same. Let’s do something now. Don’t you want to know what this world can truly be? I know that I do. The time for change is now. The world has more than enough room for all of us. None of us are completely right. All of us are sometimes wrong. With that being said, flaws, scars, fears, and all, let’s change the world. What will your legacy be? Patrick
As always, this week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better. Also, if you get to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love.