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Living Kindness

posted Aug 21, 2014, 7:12 AM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Mar 13, 2015, 8:59 AM ]
Today's meditation was about Kindness.  To start my day, I was encouraged to write a plan for a kind act I could do for myself today.  My plan is to let myself feel the sadness.  That is my kindness to myself today.  The last couple of days have been difficult that-wise.  My soul has felt heavy.  You see, I saw a post on Facebook of an older Asian gentleman being interviewed about race relations.  He talked about historic White Supremacy and how this has always been.  He talked about how the Asian response to it has been different from the Black man's response. What broke my heart was a statement about how we've put so much focus on "sniffing behind the White man" instead of supporting our own race.  I wrote a lot of reasons why his statements were unfair, arrogant, biased, superior and dismissive of our history and constant struggle in this country for equality and regard.  Even now, the sting of the word "sniffing" brings tears to my eyes.  That, against the backdrop of the civil and emotional unrest in Ferguson compounding the insult to injury of the verdict in the case of Trayvon Little, I feel such a deep and profound sadness. 
I haven't felt this kind of sadness in a long time.  I think the kindest thing I can do for myself today is to allow myself to feel it.  To weep.  To cry.  To moan.  Sadness that amidst all the talk about happiness in my 21 day meditation with Oprah and Deepak, my people are hurting.  Sadness that in a country that shocked history by electing a Black president in 2008 then came back 4 years later, completely confounding the powers that be, by re-electing him in 2012 that crimes against my people can be argued to the point of dismissal.  I think there was a belief in this country that by electing President Obama, it meant the tide had turned and for the first time in our history, my race felt that it mattered to America.  It's been an upheaval, a battle, a fight ever since.  Racism has come out of the woodwork and from behind the shadows with a force that is emitting its poison into the Universe.

Acquittals of folks with weapons who have killed black young men without guns, reasoning there simply isn't enough evidence to convict their killers.  The blood of our mutilation, denigration and humiliation cries up from the ground. The souls of our ancestors weep for theirs was a front row seat at crimes against our person and the re injury as a jury of our peers argues that is not enough to avert reasonable doubt.   

I am so sad.  I'm not angry though mine were words of great passion.  I just feel like the wind has been kicked out of me.  I just needed to publicly scream without it being destructive.  I just wanted to cry out loud and be heard over the clanks and clamors of hate and murder and hurt being felt all over the world.  I didn't want comments.  I honestly didn't post my feelings for that.  I didn't want comments lest my truth be lessened by the ideologies of others.  Nevertheless, I got them.  They actually said what the Asian man said was true.  I didn't expect that from Black men.  I honestly didn't.  It breaks my heart.  It breaks my heart that even my own race would say that a misperception of our entire race is true.  How can they say that when they themselves are choosing to hold themselves to a higher standard than what the older Asian man perceived.  Am I the only person who sees the Oprahs, the Steve Harveys and countless other Black people who are using their influence to mend the broken hearted, give sight to the blind and raise the consciousness of this world?  Who see that both the oppressor and the oppressed need an awakening to the fact that we are our brother's keeper?   I myself have been enlisted by Purpose to use my life for the betterment of humanity. 

Yes, there are those in my race whose rage erupts in unhealthy ways.  Their screams and hurt are destructive.  But that is not the norm.  There are people of character all over this nation from the poorest of neighborhoods to the wealthiest.  What I see more often than the rage is strength under fire.  Though angered by the atrocities they see everyday, they choose to use it to fuel constructive measures.  It's their push to infiltrate territory they were once denied and make change from within.  Sure there are neighborhoods who might argue as they see Black on Black crime every single day.  I don't live in those neighborhoods though.  I see Black men reading to their children.  I see Black women loving their husbands.  I see families laughing together and loving together and worshipping together.  Even those who have suffered challenges in life are working to do something better with the fragments.  I see a community showing kindness even to those who once oppressed them. Nobody does that like Black people. 

Our grandmothers and grandfathers were our examples.  They'd tell you the truth--they'd call it like they saw it with no anesthesia--and then they'd welcome you to their table to share a meal.  That is our history and that is the kindness I've seen, even in my father.  A man who wrestled with demons of alcoholism and his own sadness over the disparity in how Black people were treated in the rural place he called home gave a quarter to two white boys who harassed my younger sister as she walked home from school.  He had gone to the school and while sitting in his car observed them.  He walked up on them with a gun and it scared them so badly he gave them each a quarter and told them to not do it again.  Such was the big heart that responded with deep compassion even to those who didn't deserve it.

As I close, I remember something that Michelle Obama said during the weeks leading up to Election Day 2008.  She said, "Don't believe all that you've been hearing about where President Obama stands in the polls.  We are just fine.  If you come to the polls, Barack will be reelected."  Head to the polls, we did.  Even with naysayers all over arguing about why he shouldn't and wouldn't be reelected, a collective of people not under anyone's thumb headed to the polls.  Mitt Romney was a wealthy man with deep pockets.  He was attractive.  He was the poster child for old fashioned values and represented the kind of president we needed -- at least to some.  We who looked with the eyes of hope and faith saw differently.  And much to the surprise of those who knew they had this election in the bag, won with every single state as before except North Carolina.  It wasn't just a victory, it was a ripping victory.  Those of every race under the rainbow, who didn't see the Black race as weak and sniffing, let their voices be heard.  And despite everything that has happened, we still dream of a new America. 

We see our enemy bold and raging.  it is horrifying and it makes us weep.  Instead of intimidation though, we say yes.  We say yes, show us who you are.  Show us.  Show our children so they will dig their heels in the earth and raise up a more conscious cry that says no to racism.  Go head racism and terrorism, show your ugly fangs and blow with your hot breath.  We shall not be moved.  Races of every color under the rainbow and every age are picketing together on Moral Issues Monday and forming human chains all over this nation with Ferguson.  Like our ancestors who came before us, we shall not be moved.  Despite insurgency, we shall not be moved.  Despite murder, we shall not be moved.  We might bend but we won't break.  We might cry and wail and cuss and fuss, but when the smoke clears, we will still be here.  Even those misguided souls who faces are painted with the same chocolate brush as mine that turn on themselves and others with violence and crimes, they can't put this fire out.  We bury our dead and commit them to the Light from which they came and we resume the fight.  There is always great resistance when great change is on the horizon.  And even now, my own gift to write, the sound of my own voice has raised my soul's hope with renewed joy.  I am living kindness.  I don't only choose to be kind.  I am. 
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