By Cindy Yantis
Up at 3 am. I couldn’t sleep. My heart was aching and I couldn’t stop thinking about the horrific week in America – 2 more black men senselessly killed by cops and more cops killed in hateful retaliation. It has to stop. We have to come together.
I heard an NPR interview yesterday with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed during a controversial arrest in NYC after police held him down in a chokehold. She is a devout spokesperson against police violence. She said, “I was able to get up and turn my mourning into a movement and my sorrow into a strategy.” That's inspiration at its most.
At 3 am I thought, what can I do? Then my next thought was, I have a blog called Thought Changer. It's what I can do. It's my voice and contribution. After all, the very motto of this tome is, “Provoking Change, one thought at a time.”
It got me thinking about how at the very base of this, at the most human and humane level, mindset needs to change. To my way of thinking, we need to embrace a We mindset.
It starts with We
We is a mindset.
We is a philosophy for life.
We is construct for communication.
We is color-full and color blind.
We is a movement.
When we say We, it’s an equalizer and provides an opening to sit at the same table, eye to eye, side by side, heart to heart, ear to ear.
There is no “us” & “them” in We, yet We are us and them. This is the crux of the change in mindset.
We are a mindset.
We are a philosophy of life.
We are a construct for communication.
We are color-full and color blind.
We are a movement.
The Alchemy of We
The integration of this We takes some intentional alchemy, with guiding principles:
- Listen – not just hear but really listen to each other
- See – the big picture as well as the one snapshot
- Speak Up – for one another when an injustice takes place
- Acceptance of Differences – it’s not about tolerance anymore, it’s about acceptance
- Commonality – We are people, we have things in common
- Respect – remove all stereotypes (see 4 & 5)
- Empathy – it can be hard to empathize when you haven’t walked in another’s difficult path. But we can feel another’s pain when we stand with them in solidarity and give our voice and action to their cause.
- History – honor and own each other’s history
- Presence – We have the power within We to create our future’s history, starting with being present, in each moment.
- Humanity – compassion, kindness and charity are the cornerstones of We
- Love – love for all of We (see 1 - 10)
When conversations begin from this We, Change happens. We becomes our new normal.
We have a responsibility to future “We’s” to co-create what we want our world, our country, our cities, our neighborhoods and our families to be.
It starts with this We. Let’s move this movement. Now. Together.
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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com