I don’t know about you, but lately I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at the things I read in the news — the conspiracy theories, and the proposed legislation that seems to take us backwards. “Can people really believe that?” I ask. And I suppose some of them ask it right back of me. These last months I have read several books that illuminate black history – the part of American history that America denies. And I see the thread that connects. We see what we want and deny the rest. We paint people, companies or governments as evil to justify our position. And I am just as guilty of using this brushstroke as anyone. As Laura Ingalls Wilder says, “Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds” – or I would add the darkness we place them in. The only thing I have control over is my own perspective and my own reactions. So I have to pause and ask myself if I can throw light on the people who espouse such inconceivable beliefs. That pause is necessary so my anger and sadness empower me rather than demonize others. But to be honest, I have to keep asking myself because at times it is far from easy to see some people with light. Sometimes, the best I can do is just not see them as darkness. Looking back over America’s history, I can see that it would look very different if we had done more throwing light than darkness. So I keep challenging myself to see the light in others because it is the best hope for the possibility that our country will become what it was meant to be…Betsy.
“Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming.
Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly, and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.” Lori Deschene