Orlando. Baghdad. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Dallas. Nice.
The list is long. It’s overwhelming. I want to help, but what can I do?
I believe I can choose. Let me explain.
- I can choose to greet everyone with a smile.
- I can choose to say hello.
- I can choose to listen.
- I can choose to learn.
- I can choose to seek out those that are different.1Social media, especially Twitter, is perfect for this. With a little searching, I have found those with different politics, colors, orientations, and experiences, who are advocating for positive change. I try to be careful reading the response/comments. Anonymity gives many the license to be jerks or worse. I don’t accept abuse. The blockhammer works.
- I can choose to listen to understand, not planning my response or rebuttal.2Karen Armstrong quotes Donald Davidson, “Whether we like it or not, if we want to understand others, we must regard them as right in most matters.”
- I can choose to seek that what unites us, not what divides us.
- I can choose to be willing to change my opinions.
- I can choose to apologize when I’ve hurt someone.
- I can choose to look for the win-win, not the win-lose.3And vote for candidates with the same view.
- I can choose to confront prejudice.4Many times, a simple, “I don’t get it” is the perfect response to a prejudiced joke. (And again, vote for candidates with the same view.)
What should I add to my list? What are you willing to do?