None of us are free unless all of us are free

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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I have been sitting with my feelings about the ongoing violence against our Black family and I am heartsick for the  families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Terrence Crutcher and more.

I am not going to push the emotions away.  To avoid these painful feelings would dishonor what is happening.  First, I ground myself and connect with my center.  This allows me to feel and observe my emotions from a place of strength.

Sadness.  Disbelief.  Confusion.  Sitting in these uncomfortable emotions allows them to move through me and has led me to deeper feelings. Sad Belief, Awareness, and Painful Knowledge.  And more will come the more I am willing to be real.

I am privileged, and I will not unwittingly be a part of inequality.

I ponder what I have done with this privilege and what I can do next. 

I can use the power of my privilege and do wonderful things in the world.

I have tried to forward the truth that all beings are equal and deserve the same freedoms through my teaching, conversations and work with certain organizations.  I see that much more is needed and I can do more.  I know my words are inadequate, but I must speak, must have this important conversation with myself and all of you in order to improve and learn and support.

As a woman, I know what it is to be denigrated.  I do not know all the ways this is magnified for people of color.

I do not want to go along with my merry privilege for it is hollow unless it extends to all of us.  And so my sadness can be felt in order to fuel my next action.

When I have questions, I go to the earth and listen and learn.  This is my way.  I asked, how can I take more personal responsibility to support black lives?  I was drawn to the glaciers and so I went and listened.

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Let’s carve a new reality

Create new land for beings to walk upon

Be strong and vast

And beautiful together

We can change the world Now.

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There is remarkable energy around glaciers – they feel at once ancient and brand new.  They carry eons of the old history in ice while they create new land every day, scouring and shaping with a steadfast and unchangeable will.  I look beyond the metaphor of glaciers being slow and see they are constantly changing the landscape.  My photos are an offering, I want to share the feel of this beauty and peace and power to my black friends and to honor their power and right.

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The Matanuska Glacier helped me develop my own call to action to support Black Lives, perhaps they will spark something in you.

I will have uncomfortable conversations and stand up where it is needed locally and virtually

I will be more intentional in writing about equality in letters, blogs, and posts

I will be more honest with myself 

I will hold sacred space for community

Rick and I are strengthening the equality and justice focus for our Education Foundation which provides support for 18-27 year olds, there is a lot we can do here and I am excited.

 

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I can use the raw elements of my unique skills to form good in the world.

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I share these valuable resources for your own contemplation and actions to create social equality:

Why Black Lives Matter (Too)  A Revolutionary Call to Action by Mary Canty Merrill, Ph.D.

How to Be a Privilege Traitor, Blog by Karla McLaren

Concrete Ways to Be an Actual Ally to Black People by Avital Norman Nathman

CAMPAIGN ZERO offers tools to track legislation impacting your community in order to hold your representatives accountable for taking meaningful action to end police violence

 

Peace in oneself, Peace in the world.  This is calligraphic meditation and art created by my mentor, Thich Nhat Hanh,  and it hangs above my desk.  Each of his works is made of mindful sitting, breathing, walking, smiling – and love.  This reminds me I can walk and breathe peace in order to foster more peace in all my actions.

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I know one must look inside with honesty and fearlessness in order to better bring peace to the world.  I must tend to myself in order to be of service to others.  I am feeling beyond my white privilege, into my own peace, and see that for me to be at peace I must support others peace.

None of us are free unless all of us are free.  So speaks the energy to me.

 

Finally, my trusty 4-legged wisdom-maker, Luzy says this:

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 #blacklivesmatter

2 Comments

  1. wendy
    September 20, 2016

    absolutely stunning article. very thoughtful and thought provoking… and i agree so much with what you say very simply. how can privilege be used in service? “none of us are free unless we all are.” i appreciate the resources as well. your offering is a gift to us all to think about deeply.

    Reply
    • Wendy Battino
      September 20, 2016

      Privilege must serve, else it enslaves. Thank you dear Wendy. We can change this landscape.

      Reply

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