I love learning. Expanding my worldview; considering perspectives different than my own and a willingness to be open to things I haven’t considered are all part of that process for me.
Sadly, and truthfully, it was not until recent years that I considered ‘white privilege’ a ‘thing’ to be thoughtful of. My view was one of self-chosen naivete. Combine that with my natural inclination to idealize (Alice in Wonderland thinking…it can’t really be that bad…humans can’t be that cruel…why can’t we all just get along), has likely unwittingly kept me in a state of denial.
I think the opening of my eyes began in my first job out of college, where I worked for a child abuse prevention and treatment agency. It was the first place I witnessed first hand that abuse was way too common among all cultures, socioeconomic statuses, races and levels of education.
Working in social services for 25 years; I have come to realize we all have so much more in common than we are different; and our differences should be celebrated and respected. I don’t care about status, color, culture, in that none of us are exempt from struggle.
Truly though, it was not until my recent adventure through grad school that my eyes were opened in a completely different way. I am blessed to say that I spent two years of my life bonding closely with a small group of precious men and women who just happened to have different skin colors.
Bonds were developed among us and safety was created. Together, we had HARD discussions about racism, white privilege, sexuality, culture, gender bias, etc. For the first time in my life, I truly heard the collective hearts of people I love, trust and treasure and my own worldview was broadened. My perspective before had been ignorant, unintentionally blase, harmful and apathetic. A paradigm shift began, and I am forever grateful.
I don’t want to be ignorant, blase, harmful and apathetic. I know better and I want to do better. I have kept quiet often when it comes to politics, racism and other hard topics, unless I’m in a one on one conversation. I haven’t felt ‘equipped’ to make a difference.
However, I am here. I still don’t feel equipped…for alot of things. That said, I firmly believe that Sarah can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. I desire to acknowledge the truth of what is, rather than intellectualize my way into unseeing.
My best learning has happened from hearing directly from the hearts that have experienced challenges with racism, white privilege, sexuality, culture, gender bias, etc. If you have a story to share here or by message, I’d be honored to hear it. Help me do and be better.