Even If My Hands Shake-A #1000Speak Post

Even If My Hands Shake-A #1000Speak Post

cffbef9e76dea347cfde9d7d7e040b09I am normally not the type of person to make others uncomfortable. It feels wrong to me to make others feel bad about themselves. So, I try to make small changes in my own quiet ways. Usually by writing, and yes, I totally realize the irony in that statement. But for me, writing is a small way to have my voice heard.

Right now, however, I’m feeling helpless and worthless because there are terrible things going on the world over. And so, I feel it necessary to speak up now despite whatever backlash happens because I can’t take the negative impact anymore. It’s more than time we sort out the problems we are facing and help fix them instead of sitting quietly and letting things continue to happen.

Even if standing up and speaking makes me shake as if I’m experiencing an internal earthquake.

Even if my heart is racing and my blood is pounding in my ears and tears spring to my eyes.

Because I don’t want to be afraid to walk out my front door and think that somewhere someone who hates white skin is going to hurt me or my children. I don’t want to be afraid that someone is going to accuse me of being racist only because I’m white without finding out what my actual beliefs are. Especially when they have no idea that my family is part Cherokee; my Irish heritage happens to be physically more present.

I am the quintessential physical embodiment of a white woman. I have skin so fair you can trace my veins to my heart. I burn within minutes of being in the sun. My natural hair is blonde. A dirty blonde, but still, very blonde. I was white-headed (called a cotton-top) when I was a little girl and it was so white you could see I had dark roots. And I’m as blue-eyed as they come. Like all of us I did not ask to be born this way. But I was, and I’ve had to live with it all of my life. Even if I wanted my skin to be darker when I was younger because I hated being so pale. I wanted to have dark hair because I didn’t like being blonde because my family (the one I grew up in) were not blonde. I was different and I was treated differently because of it.

But I was not a quintessential white woman. I may have been blonde but was never a cheerleader or part of the popular crowd. I was the book nerd, the girl who wore glasses and whom most people thought would become a librarian. I wrote poetry and was smart. But I was quiet and tried to stay out of the center of attention because I was shy.

I had friends and knew people of all different skin colors and cultures but the only thing I ever thought about them was that they were simply people. I never thought to call them anything other than their names. Carla, Abi, Β Yvonne and Yvette. Tony, Martha, and Angela. Their skin or features may have depicted them as black, Hispanic, mixed…but those things never mattered to me. I didn’t know what their religion was, or their sexual preferences. It didn’t matter to me. What did matter was in how they treated others. All of them I knew and can say were friends at some point.

The attacks on blacks, on police, on France, or Turkey…anywhere really…come down to one thing for me. The actions of a few are making people react to all, and that’s unacceptable. When we allow ourselves to react to how a select few are treating all people/groups, then we become a part of the problem. We must not allow ourselves to think and act like these individuals.

Not all blacks are criminals, nor are they going to hurt others. Most are trying to live their lives the same way everyone else has the right to do.

Not all police are bad cops; most are trying to do their jobs and keep the peace. Most are trying to help.

The sexual preferences of others are their own business as are other’s choice of what gender they want to be. No one has the right to take away their choices and their decisions. The right to an opinion does not grant the right to hurt others.

Do not assume to know someone’s story until you have talked to them personally. The people who put their story online for everyone to see still have the right to be respected, even if you disagree with them.

We all should have the same privileges in rights and equality as our neighbors, yet reality proves this is not true. It’s time to change that thinking but not with violence and hatred. Nothing good has ever been accomplished with killing others, hurting others, or declaring the genocide of a culture. Why haven’t we learned this yet?

Today I am writing for 1000Speak (1000 Voices Speak for Compassion). Our goal is to promote compassion on the 20th of each month. This month’s topic was compassion and courage. My goal was to finally speak up, to have the courage to give voice to the thoughts that have been on my mind and in my heart for weeks now. There is a growing negativity in the world lately, more so than normal. Hate, violence, terror, and those trying to distract from it all.

Enough.

This civil unrest must stop. It’s time to come together and work for the good of all people. It’s time to begin building bridges and closing the gaps between us all. It’s time to wake the hell up and realize, this is it, this is the only life we have, and we leave an uncertain future to our children and grandchildren who will have to make reparations for what we are doing now.

If the only good I do is with my voice and my writing then I will give my all to that. I don’t want to be an echo.

It’s up to us.

xo Jesi

P.S. Add your voice to others. Join #1000Speak and Poets For Peace. (Click on the names to be taken to their sites.)

13 Replies to “Even If My Hands Shake-A #1000Speak Post”

  1. You’re so, SO right…and it torments me when people take pleasure in divisiveness and causing dischord. It even upsets me when people rip the shit out of the Trumps, or David Cameron, just because the DOING of that ripping is so damaging – it promotes objectification and bullying and ridicule, even if the subjects of it never know – it’s an attitude thing and it really gets to me.

    I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past and I probably still am sometimes, but…geez, I really despair for what we’ve become, sometimes.

    1. I’m guilty of certain kinds of thoughts, too. The difference is that I don’t act on them because I know that it’s me being impatient or misunderstanding. Sometimes the words do come out of my mouth but those times are SOOO much less now than they were at one time. Trump scares me; so does Hillary. But I’m not about to call them names or to do anything other than what is within my rightful power to do which is vote for what I believe to be right…or to choose to act on my right NOT to vote. It is my choices that define me, and I choose to live my life in a way that I can be proud of. I choose to love even if I don’t agree with other’s views and beliefs and actions. A few individuals will not force me to love less.

      1. They all scare me, but Trump most of all just because the people who seem to revere him seem to (in many ways) highlight a LOT of the thinking I struggle with.

        Whatever you do, it’s a tough choice πŸ™ I don’t envy you.

  2. Thank you, Jesi. The great tragedy of the current time seems to be that many who are afraid react by acting to amplify that fear into others and of others. I don’t know any simple way to deescalate such fear. It would help to have leaders who do not use fear to gain power and play at divide to conquer while saying empty words of unity. It would help if their constituents would have the courage and compassion to not let that work so well. As for doing small things, I’ll offer the wisdom of William Blake:

    He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.

    1. The only thing we can do is what we believe to be right and best for the whole despite all the power-hungry, fame-mongering, and fear running rampant. I can’t control how others react to someone else’s actions but I can control my own. I, too, wish the people would take two steps back and think before acting on their own fear and anger. But, they are not. And so, I have to have faith that the majority will not react the same way. It’s a huge leap of faith, but I believe in the goodness of people still. Most will do the right thing. Blake truly has the best quotes. πŸ™‚

  3. I believe that part of the reason people are reacting that way is because education, particularly history, has become an aside instead of being central to our civilisations. When I see how history is being re-written in textbooks in Texas, I understand more easily where all the hatred comes from. When I see the media and politicians at work in Britain or France jumping to conclusions before having all the facts, or playing on people’s fears of the other so as not to have to take tough decisions, I am appalled too.
    When I see a dictator in rising use a failed coup (or was it a fake one fomented by himself to give himself the right to strike back without control?), I am not too hopeful either. But we are doing the same when we turn to fear and hate, when we allow our governments to take away our freedoms (travel, Internet and so on) in the name of safety.

    I wish we could all live in peace. I wrote a poem and would have posted it on the #1000 speak, but it’s on FB and I don’t wish to mix my two personas. So it’ll stay quietly on my blog. At least it helped me feel better that day.

    1. I agree completely. And you did something, no matter where it was posted. And it made you feel better. That is all that matters. πŸ™‚

    1. I know. But it’s not just this. It’s all the fraud and lies and drama. I’ve had enough of it in the last four years to last ten lifetimes.

  4. Thank you for finding your courage to write when you feel so afraid. I’m so sorry to read that you feel so worthless. It can be hard to know what we can do when there’s so much violence in the world, but I think you are right that those of us who can write do need to keep writing, spreading love, helping to create loving change.

  5. Thanks so much for speaking up through your blog and being heard. I still believe that the pen will ultimately triumph over the sword!
    Have you ever read any of Maya Angelou’s works? I’m Australian and her work isn’t widely known here or, even known at all. I had seen her name in motivational quotes and ultimately decided to find out who she is. I’m currently reading: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Have you read it? I am finding it so inspirational.
    I’ve written a bit against terrorism on my blog and for 1000 speak, I had to stand up and be counted.
    Take care xx Rowena

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *