J and I swapped roles today. She became my teacher. The first lesson was about living what your believe even when its hard. After our emotionally draining experience with Luna I'd given up on the idea of adopting someone's unwanted dog as a way to make the world a better place. Too much pain for so little return. J on the other hand has decided if more people got involved there would be less of a problem. She has started collecting money to support the efforts of our local animal shelter and wrote an article for her school paper about the work of the shelter and the importance of animal adoption. Guess I need to let go of the pain and self pity and live the life I want my kids to live. If making a difference in the world was easy, everyone would be doing it and there wouldn't be such need.
The second lesson was about how far we yet have to go. We were watching the TV and an ad came on for the Miss Black Ohio competition. We don't pay much attention to pageants in our house, so J asked what the competition was. After explaining about pageants she asked, "Is there a Miss White Ohio competition?" What a long way we still have to travel. How do we dismantle the programs that started to lift an oppressed people up and put them on equal footing but now have become consciously or unconsciously divisive? How do you call for change in things that have become racist without seeming racist yourself?
Our beliefs are always reflected in our actions and our use of language. Our beliefs can be changed by consciously changing our actions and language until a new way of being becomes habit. Be the change.