Tangled: The Discomfort of Holding Bias
August 22, 2014 |
It’s Friday morning. I drive out with Steve to his office so I can keep the car for appointments. As I drive back home under grayish blue clouds, purple mountains before me, I feel small and alone. What do I have but a heart tangled in pain, a mind set on injustice, and hands incapable of change? What do I have but eyes fixed on suffering, shoulders weighted by sorrow, and a stomach full of knots?
I pull into the garage and shut off the car. I sit in the discomfort of ineffectiveness. I let the emotions of the week settle on the dash. I shuffle them around with my finger, making lines in the dust. Sometimes I feel so much I can’t see the forest through the trees.
I make coffee and open my laptop. I sit down and sigh. And that one audible expulsion of air reminds me of the asset I often forget. My voice. I have a voice and it’s loud in my head and it’s loud in my heart and occasionally, when my guts align, it is loud on my blog. It spins words unassuming into poems and prose and sometimes… often, in fact, people understand me.
At a time when much is wrong, and the pain seems unendurable, we gotta know we each have a voice. We need to latch on to this one Truth- Every Voice Matters. Every voice matters and every person matters and even if the best we can do is turn up the volume on someone else’s voice, we are making a statement of our own.
There’s an interconnectedness resisted in times of turmoil. Us/Them mentality drives us further apart. The idea we can go it alone is absurd. The fear that keeps us apart is outdated. As I type these things, I recognize my own anxieties that keep me reaching for justification. My own bias shows itself in my thoughts and I’m kicking against a culture that set me up this way. I’m going to use this time of discomfort to learn, and to make changes in my life.
I leave you now with words from Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving:
In the state that is somewhere between fear and indifference lies an opportunity to awaken to the intuitive voice that says, “Something’s not right.” “What is going on here?” “I wish I could make a difference.” In my experience, learning to listen to that voice is slowly but surely rewiring my intuition, breaking down walls that kept me from parts of myself, and expanding my capacity to seek truths, no matter how painful they may be. Learning about racism has settled inner conflicts and is allowing me to step out of my comfort zone with both strength and vulnerability in all parts of my life. Racism holds all of us captive in ways white people rarely imagine.