Maybe You Are The Answer

Maybe You Are The Answer

In times like these, we must not forget the power in speaking up.

Last week, I went up to Virginia to visit some friends and they took me to see a Civil War battlefield, a place where an estimated 550 men died. As we looked out upon the wide open field, my friend and I discussed why people kill each other all in the name of whatever they think is worth taking the life of another human being. I gazed out into the field and speculated that perhaps we value our ideals over other humans because we are stunted by the filter of our own bias, so much that we are all incapable of imagining others complexly. He agreed and then added that war seemed foolish, to fight over just land or any other thing that people value over human life.

And then I returned home and turned on the news. I had been gone all day and hadn't seen the news earlier about the terrorist attack in Bangladesh, and now more recently, Baghdad.

I don't know how I feel anymore. Or even how to feel. I have been really numb feeling ever since the Paris attacks last November. After that, each attack just seems like another stats for the history books. And I know that is awful to admit, but I have forgotten how to mourn. 'Cause really, how does one mourn for so many? I think maybe the Paris attacks hit me so hard because I was watching the story as it was unfolding. It was people, not just stats. Before I had seen the news, I was watching an episode of the show "heroes Reborn," in which a very similar situation was unfolding. And after the episode was over, I was at that point barely watching. Then my sister switched over to live television where the Paris attacks were unfolding and it looked so much like that TV episode, that I was confused. Right when I was about to tell my sister that she could stop the episode, and that it had finished, I realized that it wasn't a show. People were right at that very moment being massacred.

Then the death toll kept on rising, stories were being told, gruesome pictures shared and I guess I just broke. And ever since that day I have been trying to understand how people could do that to other people and maybe if I knew, I could move on and adequately mourn, but I can't. The dead will always outnumber the living and that is something I guess I must learn to live with until I become just another statistic.

Elie Wiesel once said,

"It is we who decide whether words are to be carriers of hate or vehicles of compassion, whether they become spears or peace offerings, whether they will move us to despair or to hope. I belong to a generation that has learned that whatever the question, despair is not the answer. What is the answer? Maybe you are the answer."

And this brings me to the realization that perhaps we cannot ever properly mourn for so many. Maybe an adequate amount of despair will never make up for the lives continually lost. And I have hope because I have words and I have to believe that they are stronger than guns, stronger than hate and stronger than fear.

And maybe the best thing we all can do is to remember that our words hold power, and that the way to stop hatred and fear lies in my observations about how we must learn to see others a complex human beings.

All I have ever had are my words and maybe I just need to start believing that my words will always be more than enough.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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When Your Enough Just Isn't Enough

Do what you can, and God will do what you can't.

Have you ever felt like your enough just isn’t… enough? I feel like often times, even in smaller situations, we belittle the greatness that we can achieve because of our own personal thoughts or what others lead us to believe. It’s like, yeah, I wrote this paper, but did I really put my all into it? Or, yeah, I did my Bible study, but was my heart really into it?

It’s times like this when I must sit back and remember that God is God and He knows every depth and shallow I’ve been through! Lately I’ve found myself wondering if I’ve been doing enough to follow my calling properly, or even if I’ve done enough to please God. Sometimes doing what you want to do for God can be disheartening because rejection and a whole lotta “no”s come along with it. The outcome will always be pleasurable, but the journey to reach out to someone’s heart can be difficult. 

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) says “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” 

To me, this verse is saying, “Do what YOU can, and God will do what you can’t.” 

Is that not amazing to think about? We have the honor of having a God that will never leave our side. Receiving your calling and attempting to do the best to please God can be difficult – there’s no doubt about it. God never said it would be easy, but He did reassure us that He wasn’t going to leave us behind. Whether your passion for God is to sing, minister, be a missionary, or absolutely anything, do what you can and God will do the rest – with your drive, of course. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve backed out of opportunities or denied my calling to others, just because of how selfish I am about it. I felt like my enough wasn’t enough! But, if we’re doing what God wants, under Him and for Him, He will be pleased. That’s the beauty of it all!

So next time you feel like you’re not doing enough, take a step back and look at what’s in front of you. 

Are you doing what you can so that God can do what you can’t? 

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Black British Viewpoint On The H&M Ad

Why his mother is unbothered? And why South African Protestors are?

You've seen it everywhere. A photo of this beautiful Black Boy wearing a sweater (aka Jumper) stating "cutest monkey in the jungle". Now many people immediately expressed outrage about the entire situation but when I saw this, my original response was as follows:

And it seems that the boys mother agrees with me:

“[I] am the mum, and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. Stop crying wolf all the time, [it’s] an unnecessary issue here. Get over it.. That’s my son, [I’ve] been to all photoshoots and this was not an exception. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this… I really don’t understand but not [because I’m] choosing not to, but because it’s not my way of thinking. Sorry.


A fellow Brit writes:

Like this commenter mentioned, I've heard white and black parents in the UK refer to their kids as a cheeky monkey. You see before moving to the USA, I use to say all the time "racism DOES NOT exist". Yeah don't get me wrong I'd experience two moments that I remember, that had a slight racial bias attached to it. But it was two separate incidents in the twenty-something years of my life. It was really nothing. Scrap that maybe three. After all my family is multiracial. Many family members includng my uncle, brother in law, cousins in law are white and my lineage is mixed. I could go to a pub meet a white person or a person of any other race, and have a deep meaningful conversation about a plethora of issues with no judgment and feel like there really is a deep connection and acceptance. Heck, I could have that conversation at a bus stop.

My family member writes:

It's not the same in the USA. It's a constant barrage of judgment, of questioning everything and every experience. From the moment you walk out of your door, you could be subjected to multiple incidences of racist bias that leave you raw and unable to know how to process or to cope. ou leave your house and if in an affluent neighborhood, your neighbors can make you feel like you don't belong.Y You walk into your nearby Krogers, where until you are labeled as ok, you could be followed all around the store on a daily basis. You see your neighbors who do not acknowledge and often do things that let you know, you are un-welcomed (you don't belong) in your very own neighborhood. You go to work, where you are isolated and made to feel that it was not designed for you. Where you micromanaged and made to feel less than in so many ways. You drive home from work where if you are a black man, one false move could be the end of your life.

You see, the African American experience is one that dehumanizes you. It has become so polarized that it's difficult to even know which way to look. I mean my daughter was subjected to bullying with a racial element, at the age of 4. FOUR years old. It's heart-wrenching and just unacceptable. I can go to an event be it a birthday party or a school led event where everyone knows me, but many if not all at times, choose to not speak to me. It's a brutal experience.

Opposing views

Another view:


The experiences are so different that I honestly can relate why for the Swedish black Mum took no issue with the sweater/jumper or the ad. But I also being black in America where it is common to dehumanize black people, and where this subjection is daily and constant can understand why there is such outrage and why many people take offense. There is a school of thought out there that believe H&M did this on purpose. That this was an opportunity to gain free publicity. I truly hope not. Either way I shout You Cannot Define Me, I am Beautiful, Learned, Adorable, Capable a King (aka BLACK) for that little boy. I also understand why those in South Africa protested to the point that H&M has had to close its door.

The divisive nature of the country, nay, the world needs to get on a better track if we are truly to move forward. When will we learn?I really and truly just don't get it. Let me know your thoughts?

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