The recent senseless murders of black people committed by the US police force has caused global outrage. This isn’t something new but it has sparked riots, peaceful protests, petitions to change the law, it has forced uncomfortable conversations, people have been sharing their personal experience and organisations are taking a stand. It has exposed the history of systemic racism, police brutality and the countless injustices across health care, education, social services, prison, and employment, just to name a few that black people continue to face and have been facing for an unacceptable amount of years; this is not only in the US but in the UK as well as around the world. The Black Lives Matter movement especially through social media is gaining more and more momentum. Momentum is great but we need to ensure that it is more than a hashtag and that actual ground work is being made. Initially, I wasn’t too sure that sharing a post on a story or a retweet would be enough and it really isn’t. But it is useful and does serve a purpose, it helps to get the ball rolling and force people to see what they may or may not be aware of.
Mind Mindfully is really about internal enquiry, this is an in-depth examination of self. And I believe it to be one of the most important things we as a people can and need to do.
My stance is that for something to be effective we must firstly explore and challenge thoughts which will help to encourage change.
Change is defined as an act or process through which something becomes different.
Change feels like something that is over there, far away and a thing you may think about dealing with later. Being patient and waiting to see the effects of change can be boring and can make us feel like nothing is happening which may cause us to lose hope and give up. For example, take someone on a weight loss/gain journey; adopting a new diet or workout routine isn’t going to show any significant difference within the first 3 days however, in 3 months’ time it’s a different story. Often, people tend to make a few small changes fail to see a tangible result, and decide to stop. But I’d like to remind you that change takes time and consistency to make an impact.
Change comes from sustained long term action.
The only time you can make meaningful change is now, and it begins with you. The most important change is the shift in your mentality. It’s a mindset shift that enables you to ACT on what you want to change, what you wish to be different about you, your circle and your society.
Remember, you can’t change the whole world at once and there is no point in trying to take on that challenge. It’s an impossible task and you wouldn’t be able to do it on your own.
You can only control what is in front of you.
So to re-iterate, first and foremost the change starts with you. I’ll say this time and time again but it’s important to develop your self –awareness to realise that a change needs to happen. And of course you’re aware of what’s going on around the world but I mean it’s important to reflect, look within and ask yourself some direct questions and be honest with the answers.
What is the exact thing you wish to be different and that you want to change?
Be the change you want to see. Once you are aware and understand the thing you want to change you need to start taking action and become that change. At this point it’s not necessary to convince anyone to change with you. You just need to be a walking example of that change.
The best way to get someone to change is not to change them but is to show them why change is necessary and important. If they can understand that, they are more likely to change. Then again, that is only if they want to.
Ignorance is the lack of knowledge; and it’s in your best interest to avoid exerting your energy on those who refuse to be open minded and even consider your point of view. They want to stay ignorant and it’s really not worth you exhausting yourself trying to convince them otherwise. For the people who are willing to learn it’s also not your responsibility to educate them, there is an abundance of resources available that the majority of us can access simply by a Google search. My only suggestions would be to continue having those conversations, share useful material and signpost the relevant information as and when needed. As I can imagine, you have a lot of your own things going on that need to be dealt with. Look after yourself first.
Change may be ridiculed initially and even opposed. But if you stay true to yourself, keep your goal in mind, interact and engage with like-minded people which helps to give you a sense of community and a support system. It is likely that things will work out and eventually a change will come. You may hesitate because being mocked or laughed at isn’t really fun but the opportunity to change is always in your grasp.
Now is the time to action those thoughts and put things into place.
Educate yourself and apply that knowledge, as I said before you can’t change the world at once but you can take steps toward the world changing. Start with yourself, then your family, friends and gradually widen that circle. Work with your local communities, specifically at grass root level as early intervention has demonstrated better outcomes.
Continue to share useful information, ask yourself some questions, sign those petitions, donate if you can, read books, watch films, listen to poetry, spoken word, podcasts & play some music too. A whole heap of dismantling, unlearning and re-learning will be happening which can be pretty overwhelming and emotionally draining. So whatever you do make sure it’s right for you.
It is possible for you to take adversity and find the advantage; with that advantage being change. Changes that seem small at first will compound into remarkable results if you are willing to stick with them. Yes our people have been demanding change for years and changes have occurred but now is the time for a different kind of change.
It’s our responsibility to make that happen.