Posted on 06/08/20 by in Stories from The Well
by: Brian Raphael Nabors, Doctor of Musical Arts, A Mindful Moment Board Member
What a chaotic time this is. One that seems to be an ongoing bad dream filled with struggle, hardship, and depravity. It is a time where our humanity has been tested more than ever in this modern era. Over the past few months, we have seen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ravage families, economies, and basic way of life across the entire globe. It is a time that has humbled us in just about every way, from the working class to the most economically prevalent. It has made us sensitive, anxious for life “as it was,” and ready to simply press the skip button on this section of our journey. On top of all of this anxiety, sadness, and frustration, America has once again borne witness to another tragedy, this to add the list of slain unarmed black Americans by law enforcement.
We have all seen the horrific images of George Floyd being asphyxiated by a Minneapolis police officer. This egregious event has prompted mass protests in every major city in the U.S. and many countries around the world. Never could we have imagined a time where the metaphoric marriage of being masked by the effects of a virus and masked as a black American citizen would have such a symbolic connection. Nevertheless, I have never been more proud to be not only an African American, but simply an American. In the middle of what was already a horrid time, we’ve seen people from every color and creed, coming together in solidarity to put racism, bigotry, immorality in its rightful place. I am often told by my many elders that no matter how bad a situation seems, there is always something to be grateful for.
In this moment, I stand with a humble and grateful spirit for the many people, colleagues and friends, who do not share the experience of being a black American citizen, but have listened, understood, and joined the fight to protect black lives so that all lives can truly matter. Thank you for rallying with us, crying with us, and mourning with us. Thank you for placing your wellbeing at risk to help your fellow citizens. Thank you to all that continue to fight to uproot a system of oppression that is riddled in lies about the value of other human beings because of the physical hue of their skin. Now more than ever, I am most grateful for the continued efforts of the American people to continually reevaluate what this country is and stands for; an identity staked in the ideals of true freedom and justice for all people.
So, what can we do going forward? Continue to be the change you want to see in your society. Have deep conversations. Listen to understand rather than to respond. Fight on behalf of others who cannot. We must continue to educate our children on the values of family, friendship, citizenship, and fellowship. We must continue to eradicate practices that in any way, shape, or form diminish another human being. Above all else, we must lead with love. If we start with love, the rest will fall into place.
Continue to stay safe, vigilant, mindful, and prosperous. The road may very well be rocky, but there is indeed to come a day when we, in the words of the legendary Maya Angelou discover:
“A brave and startling truth.
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms…
When we come to it.”