Live the examined life, subjecting my motives and actions to the scrutiny of mind and heart so to rise above prejudice and hatred. Care.
I was born with the advantages of a white, middle class family. I was provided monetary and familial support to complete my education. I know that I can walk into most spaces and be with people who look like me. I know I can hide in that sameness. I know about how my current culture is framed in multiple layers of history that makes me unique and is something that I bring to every encounter. Encountering one person or a group of people can lead to a change in my spiritual growth. Always learning and adjusting is part of who I now am; questioning my own motives is one way I take action.
I have learned that my world, America and my faith are not okay on race and other diversity issues but we can get better. Conversations and interactions always run the risk of being wrong, of being denied the feelings of belonging. Belonging is one of our deepest human needs. I have a fear of not belonging which can stop me from taking action. Yet, action is what is needed to make a difference. My faith community is one of acceptance for each other’s personal spiritual growth yet we are human and so love and forgiveness come into play. It is so complex that being grounded in trust that we are all doing our best and being the best we can be helps to be strong in those times of doubt.
The challenge for me then is remembering my faith and community in doing the daily, holy work of social justice. If my faith and community can do the work, then I can do the work personally.
I am a White, Anti-Racist, Holy Woman – Barbara Stahnke