Differences Matter

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I don’t find the term “all lives matter” very helpful. To me, it is society’s way of saying, “Grow up. We all have issues. Stop complaining.” This is why I think people in the “black lives matter” and the “blue lives matter” campaigns are super brave. Both groups are just drawing attention to the unique challenges they face from being members of their groups. I aspire to that kind of courage because I know it isn’t easy.

 Black people are not saying that they are the only people who face injustice and struggles. They are just trying to give voice to the unique ways in which these things play out for their particular group. Black people have struggles. White people have struggles. Asians have struggle. Latinos have struggles. Native Americans have struggles. All races and ethnicities have struggles and face forms of injustice. However, each group experience them differently. There are a disproportionately number of black people in our criminal system compared to any racial group in America. When the population is taken in consideration, black people are twice as likely to be shot by law enforcement. With these facts, it is no wonder this community struggles with alienation. Anger, fear, and hopelessness are natural results of this state. 

The same is true for police officers. They are not saying that their profession is the only profession in which they face mounting frustrations, public misunderstandings, and job limitations. Teachers have the similar issues. The military has similar issues. Health care workers have similar issues. Truck drivers have similar issues. Government employees have similar issues. Even CEOs have these issues. We have these issues in all professions, but they do play out differently for each workforce sector.

The “blue lives matter” campaign is just bringing up the particular ways that these issues are played out for their group. The fact that police officers risk their lives on a regular basis is a reality that effects this group in all kinds of way. The fact that people are being shot for just being police officers is why this group is feeling so much anger and fear.

We don’t like talking about differences because they make us uncomfortable. We are uncomfortable because we think the focus of such talk is about blaming. However, for many, the true purpose of such discussions is to bring about connection and possible solutions.

How do I know all of this? Simple. I have a disability, and discussing disability issues with people outside of this community is really, really hard.

When I talk about inaccessibility, transportation issues, integration, healthcare choices, and stereotypes, I am not saying the disability community is the ONLY community who face these struggles. What I am saying is that how we experience these things is different than other communities. We are isolated because we literally can’t get from point A to point B due to a lack of accessible sidewalks and transportation. Most homes are not accessible which means we are disconnected from family and friends. We are twice as likely to be in poverty, and 4 times as likely to be victimized. These issues are real, and when they are not acknowledged, many of us do feel angry, frustrated, and hopeless. 

When people say that all Americans face challenges, I feel like the struggles of my community are not seen as important or damaging. In fact, it sends the message that the actual people in my community are not as important.

I can only assume that this is how other groups feel. Can we just stop the denial and just acknowledge that we all face injustice but not in the same way? This would lead to greater connection, which could lead to finding better solutions.

I applaud the people who dare to talk about any type of communal injustice and frustration because it is messy and emotional. It is my prayer that I communicate better what my community experiences. I tend to hold back a lot because I don’t like to create too much uncomfortableness. However, I must ask myself, “What’s so wrong with creating uncomfortableness?” I mean, God is constantly asking us to do the uncomfortable.

Sigh, being human is so complex…

Finding My Voice Again

cropped-image9.jpegWell, i just did my first video, and this is my first post on this website. I wish I felt more proud of myself, but I don’t.

I believe I should have done this long, long ago. I know there has been understandable reasons for this, and it has not been because I was lazy (although the evil one loves to shove this lie into my face.) I know that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning. Still, I feel shame for silencing my voice for so long. I am 40 years old, and I stopped writing for 5 years. How could I been so stagnant when life is so short? (my honest thoughts)

In light of how I emotionally beat myself up, the fact that I actually did this post and video is nothing short of a testimony of the power of living in grace. Grace gives us the ability to face the truth about ourselves and the opportunity for God to shine His love in us.

I am smiling right now because I see the power of grace working this very moment. I am sharing my struggle of beating myself up so badly that it keeps me from writing. And now that it is brought into the light, I can feel God speaking truth to my injured soul. Indeed, His mercies of the Lord are new every morning.

There is no need to condemn myself because His mercies are new every morning. I will say it again, “His mercies are new every morning!”
Do you see what just happened? I knew the bible verse, but I needed to face the truth about myself before God could reach me with the sweetness of that bible verse. That is the power of living in grace. That is freaking amazing!

Since I am currently in a moment of freedom, let me rejoice, After 5 years of holding back, not only did I write this post but I did a video! I feel proud about that. It shows how far I have come. God is indeed good. (I really hope my friends will remind me of these things the next time I slipped back into my comfort zone of criticizing myself. Maybe they should have a copy of this post on hand.)

I am taking a risk with the video down below. Even though I think it has an important message, I chose to display my goofy side to communicate it. Because I have cerebral palsy, my goofy side tends to reinforce the perception that I am not very intelligent.

However, I like showing my goofy side. I enjoy embracing my inner child. I don’t want to be ashamed of that any more. People will believe what they want about me, and I cannot control that. It is okay, though, because I believe Jesus is best glorified when we don’t hold back for the sake of appearances. (Please remind me of this after the first unkind comment I read because I am pretty sure I will be crying my eyes out.)

Please read the “About” page to learn more of my struggle in finding my voice again, about my disability, and the purpose of this blog.

With all the above information, you may now view my first video. (Aren’t you glad that I gave you my permission?)

My Big Break (or Maybe Not)

It is so important to focus on what we are good at instead of the things that …um…we are not the best at. Watch and you will see my point.

 

So, what do you think so far? I would love to know.🙂