It’s okay to not know what to say.

I’ve spent a lot of time listening this week. I’ve been listening to those with really important things to say and I’ve been listening to those who bring nothing to the table but noise.

I believe it’s important to listen, especially in a time like this.

I also believe it’s important to know that everyone deals with crises differently. Trying to shame someone into publicly taking a stance is not fair and not helpful. We’re living in a world where half the population is saying ‘shut up and listen’ whilst the other half of the population is saying ‘silence is violence’. And honestly, both stances have merit.

We all saw the same horrific video of a black man being murdered in broad daylight by a white police officer with no remorse or care for the terror and brutality he was committing and the life that he was taking.

This horrific video, while it affected us all, is something we each deal with in different ways.

Some take to social media/blogs. Some take to the streets. Some take to their phones. Some write letters to the mayors, the governors and anyone they think might have the power to evoke change. Some donate. Some educate themselves, their parents, siblings, friends and strangers. Others, well others have officially registered to vote. Finally. This will be their year. And some people have chosen to do all of the above.

There are so many routes to change and ALL of these things are good. One or all of these things could end up being integral to the shaking of the foundation of American culture as we know it. And, quite frankly, could create a ripple effect within all of our cultures. Because racism is a people problem whether you live in Minneapolis, Fez or Auckland. It might not be as rampant where you live, but it’s there, I promise you that.

Trying to shame someone into taking a ‘public’ stance on social media or elsewhere is not right and not helpful. Some people have a way with words, a super power that evokes passion from those who read their work, whether it through social media, email or other. But that’s not everyone. Some people have a fearless nature that calls them to the streets, a super power that tells them no matter what happens, they can handle it. Come rubber bullets, tear gas, hell or high water, they will not move until they are heard. I admire the hell outta that.

I could go on and on here, but the truth is, there are people with far more important things to say right now. People who are waking up our world to the injustice they’ve felt and experienced since the day they were born.

I just wanted to say that change looks different for everyone. There is no correct reaction to what we’ve seen and what we’re feeling. The very fact that you’re feeling is a good sign. And, it’s okay if you don’t know what to say. Those that do, they’ll say it for you.

So listen. Be empathetic. Evoke change how you can. And please don’t shame anyone because their change doesn’t look the way that you want it to.

Here I am, talking way too much still. I need to shut up.

One more thing, though. I just wanted to share this quote from an old commercial. It is one that was not about racial injustice when made, but when I heard it today it sent shivers down my spine.

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.

While some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Change is coming. I can feel it in my bones.

30 thoughts on “It’s okay to not know what to say.

  1. Thank you for posting this. It’s so good to read positive things related to this topic! I’ve been spending quite abit of time reading and trying to form an opinion and in the end my conclusion is this: we’ll keep running into walls because the road to justice is never a straight one, but it’s important that we keep moving forward despite the struggle. We all move forward in our own way, but if it’s in the same direction we can create a big wave. I agree with you, change is coming.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I agree with this 100%! People’s mental health is already fragile due to the pandemic – now they’re being shamed as racists if they don’t flood social media with instances of injustice and support for a movement we should all be a part of anyway.
    It’s manipulative, gross, and a horrible way to deal with a movement of this importance.
    I’m glad you addressed those who choose to deal with it in a more inconspicuous way.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are many ways to go about invoking change. People are stressed right now and they want big, boisterous movement, and I completely understand. Those people in the streets are making change in big, big ways. Those calling congress-men/congress-women phones hundreds of times a day or sending emails or teaching their relatives about this horrendous injustice is important too. What black people go through in their day-to-day lives in the USA is horrifying.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 100% change is underway my friend! This is what I posted after my latest painting of a lotus flower encased in a heart with the caption “Love enlightens my soul….
    My lane is love, radiating it from the inside out. We are in the midst of much need change my dears and during this time I want to remind you to allow love to heal your soul, enlighten you to knowledge, soften your edges and most of all ease your pain. Take a moment each day to show yourself some love and then share that love with others. Our world needs it desperately now❤
    Self love leads to Universal love.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you, V. I wrote about my thoughts on the protests a few days ago, and I got ROASTED. In essence, I shared that I supported the protests, but I was skeptical that it would bring about change now, and my peers were not happy. In retrospect, I could’ve worded my thoughts better, but alas, what’s been done is done…

    Although I expected people to react to my thoughts, I was not prepared to receive attacks that I was being cold and indifferent to the cause, that I, also a POC, would sound so privilege and ignorant to racism towards blacks. They’re right in some ways, but their militant reaction was very off-putting. Just like them, I do support the protests and the desire for something to change…but just because I don’t 100% believe in the cause painted me as the enemy.

    I think it’s sad. We need all the support we can get from everyone to bring about change. However, the problem is that we’re isolating people who are skeptics (yet want to believe) by shaming them on their views for being slightly different than what the general public believes. We are not united, just like with this protest. We are not united in what we want to change: we want changes to racism, police brutality, corporate greed…all perfectly justifiable. But we can’t tackle all of them in one protest and expect them all to be solved at the end of it. Because of this disorganization, the protests won’t bring about as much change as we like. At least, not this year. But over time, yes.

    We will keep moving forward, as messy as it gets. Change might not happen now, but eventually it will. Tackling racism as a whole is very ambitious; it’s a monster that isn’t as easy as saying, “racism is bad, and we need to stop it.” It’s centuries of institutionalized, systemic, and implicit prejudice and violence against blacks and other minorities that can’t be solved by a protest. I think a good place to start is to address police reformation, in how they recruit and train officers, and how they handle stressful situations. And of course, not accepting racists and bigots into the academy. I think if we start there, we can produce a trickle-down effect that could lead to less blacks being profiled and killed, and then later can we reform societal structures for blacks in education, health care, and employment. We need to start somewhere.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I did get a decent number of strong reactions, but it’s okay. I expressed what I believed, and I accept the repercussions. Despite contradicting information out there saying what we should/shouldn’t do, the point is to focus on the big picture (e.g. racism) and take the small steps to decrease the chances of this happening again. We are all united in the same cause, even if we have varying degrees of whether it’ll work or not.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Fez? What an oddly specific inclusion. 😂
    On a serious note, though. I’ve written a couple of posts about the protests here in Portland – including how one aspect of them touches on a trigger for me: honesty. The sensation of being on the “right” side but knowing I’ll offend someone because I don’t agree 100% with tactics also bothers me. I have to stop and remind myself that the right side is right, overall, even if the activism of those supporting the cause may be more of a…spectrum.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beautiful ❤️

    I really do hope change is coming. I have some friends that dont think any of this will change a thing. and it is so sad. I hope they are wrong.

    we were talking about what can we do to make a difference. because we feel so small in the bigger picture of things.

    anyway Love your post… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even just having those conversations about what you can do to make a change is a step and a step in the right direction. That’s important to note! No more should these discussions be swept under the rug. So take note of those conversations you’re having because they’re so, so, so important right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. I’ve also felt the tug between being told to speak up and being told to listen only. It’s been awful here in Texas, but if it brings good change, I’m all for it. The status quo stinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done V, I’ve been taunted by a good friend of ours for not flooding my social media about “Black lives matter”. I’ll support and tackle racism in my own way, quietly and with some decorum. No taking to the streets for me, screaming, baying for blood, and attacking police officers in London.

    Like

  9. I haven’t heard that commercial is SO long! I thought it was very empowering then and still do!! Thank you for the reminder!
    I listen a lot but never feel heard…. it saddens me to see how others choose to push others down when we should help them up!

    Like

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