I currently live 30 minutes from Washington D.C. or in other words, I live 30 minutes from the political capital of the United States. Where lines are drawn, ideas are weapons and unity is talked about as if there’s actually a hope of it happening.
There are a ton of ideas running around and so many articles being written on all the issues happening in the world today. And I’m sure you know, there are SO many issues being brought to the forefront of culture right now. Every Facebook and Instagram post I see is talking about them.
I’ve been noticing that the different topics that are being posted about on social media are a little bit of taboo subject in real life. It’s much easier to post than to have an honest conversation in person and I’m the number one offender. I realize that I would rather talk about anything else than the race issues or the police brutality issues that are plaguing our nation. But why is that?
I’ve been mulling over the idea of why I don’t want to talk about these issues for the last couple weeks. I’ve been trying to figure out what makes these issues so contentious, why are people so emotionally involved that we can’t even have a conversation? Below are a couple of my thoughts. I think a conversation must happen and I think that in order to have an honest conversation we can’t judge each other. We can’t finger point or throw a meme at someone, we need to go deeper.
Why can’t we talk about the race and police brutality issues?
For me, it’s hard to broach these subjects because I believe that most people have already made up their mind on these issues. They seem so entrenched in their ideas on how to fix everything that I don’t feel I have space to explore my thoughts and feelings with others. If I have a difference of opinion or even if I don’t have an opinion, but need to verbally process, I feel I will get judged. I believe that most people think there is a right or a wrong way to act and think, and if I’m not with them, then I am against them.
So what can I do?
First, I am listening. I am trying to understand to the best of my ability other perspectives. I realize there is no way to completely understand someone else’s viewpoint or how they feel, but I can at least try. Hopefully the act of listening will start to change my perspective and mindset.
Have a conversation
Second, I am trying to broach these topics with people I trust. I feel I need a place to talk openly and honestly without being judged or put down. I need time to process and reflect. I know that there are people that won’t like the idea of “having time to process and reflect”. That I need to be doing my part to fight against racism and police brutality now and not waiting. But, that’s how I feel. I need some time to understand my own thoughts and allow those thoughts to become a way of living that is different and better than it is now.
My challenge to myself and the readers: Let’s wrestle with these issues in a healthy way that hopefully will bring change to not only ourselves, but the people around us and our community.
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently in America working with Truro Anglican Church located in Fairfax, Virginia. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus’ command to make disciples a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Mondays, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone’s previous articles might be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html