There are many terrific ideas being proposed to help our culture include more equality, from improving education, to assigning more mental health professionals to work with the police, and taking to the streets to bring awareness and express dissatisfaction. Most are old ideas. I’ve watched this struggle since I can remember; in the 1960s and 70s there was a similar upheaval for change and healing of the racial disparity. There was much talk and action to address it. Yet here we are, circling back, realizing how our efforts have failed. Why?
One reason is our piecemeal approach, so many programs that affect only a few people. Or ideas like Head Start; an honest effort, but didn’t address the real problem. And equating throwing more money as a solution to problems. More food stamps, more welfare, more school lunches. While much of it is necessary, this still doesn’t address the cause. Legislating to stop discrimination is nice but doesn’t address the problem. Pulling down Confederate statues may help emotionally, but will never address the problem.
Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, lifting the entire society to become more aware, more conscious is the only real solution.
It is the only one that doesn’t continue to slap band aids on a cultural problem. If we continue to be focused on the symptoms and not the cause, we will never get there. And it isn’t the easiest, but it is possible.
What we need to stop doing:
What we need to start doing:
By raising awareness, or consciousness, in a significant number of people in society, systemic problems like racism will wane naturally because we grow in self-reflection, empathy, and broader perspectives. We will develop an ability to listen to diverse opinions without reacting negatively. With compassion and care for everyone, we will all rise.
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash