Eyes, ears, and heart are open.

[I wrote this months ago and didn’t publish, but am decided to do so now.]

I write here daily in what has often become a reflection on living as a human in this confusing world.

Something is happening in America right now and it feels like the right thing to do is to say something. But I have nothing eloquent to say. I don’t know the right way to think about racial tension in America. I don’t know what can be done about it. I have been spending time learning about what is happening through news sources, and listening to comments by others that have helped me in my own thinking. I hope that you too are finding good thought leaders to help you.

With that said, here are some of my current, in-eloquent thoughts on the matter.

I am not shocked by unjustified killing of a black person at the hands of police officers. I am not shocked that white people thought a running black man had just committed a crime and then killed him. I am not shocked that law enforcement was slow to react. I am almost, but not even shocked that a white woman would threaten to lie to police to hurt a black man, using his race against him.

I am sad. And I understand the anger that people are experiencing. Not well. I do not know what it is like to be fearful of police instead of to feel that they will protect me. I do not know what it is like to have people think I’m a criminal just going for a run, or shopping in a store. But I empathize. As Trevor Noah said, society offered a contract, and the system has not kept its end of the bargain.

I think about the broader context. I think we need an overhaul of the education system. I think we need to pay teachers more. I think being a teacher should be aligned with doctors and lawyers in our society.

I think we need to train everyone in society to be able to find good news sources and to think critically about what they see and hear.

I think we need a free and protected press.

I think we need to pay police more to attract better people, and I think we need more thoughtful training. I think there should be a greater focus on community and de-escalating violence instead of inciting it.

I think we should look at how our communities are structured and to clean them up. Why are people living in broken homes – literally trashed, vandalized, broken? Why are some communities ignored?

I don’t know what else to say or do, but felt I had to acknowledge something as I try to write here my reflections on life around me. I will continue to listen, and to donate money where to places and people doing good work, and to try to live as a good citizen, recognizing that I am fortunate to have more than many through no doing of my own.

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