Awaking with the opportunity to serve my world is a daily blessing that I aim to maximize even though it’s easy to limit my focus to the daily grind of work, kids, and home and miss on the opportunity to serve my world beyond myself and my home. Yesterday, Saturday, April 26, 2014 was filled with countless blessings that had me in a seemingly constant state of reflection and sobriety.
My day started with leaving my house before 7am to take my 17 year old son to Loaves and Fishes where he’s regularly volunteered feeding the homeless on Saturdays since the end of 2011. After returning home and handling a few errands, I was on my way to the Sacramento County Juvenile Detention Facility, where I spent over four hours with young men who are in the maximum security units as well as a couple other units. I left there and met a friend for an early dinner that led to a phenomenal conversation about race, gender, and privilege in American society and our workforce.
After dinner, I was so thankful, energetic, and encouraged. At this point, thinking my day would be “lightened,” I sat with my laptop to get caught up on work and wound up watching the movie Fruitvale Station while doing so. “Lightened” didn’t happen and the movie stirred so many of the same emotions that were already awakened earlier in my day. In the backdrop of this day was the news surrounding the comments of the Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy who’s comments were quickly overshadowed by the alleged comments of NBA team owner, Donald Sterling. The movie accompanied with the recent national headlines combined to remind me of how the naiveté of so many (all races) would find themselves surprised by such events or in denial of how such comments from these individuals and fate such as in the movie are direct descendents of institutional discrimination, abused unearned privilege, and mental slavery.
I’m thankful for my many failures over the years to productively recognize and address the descendants of institutional discrimination, abused unearned privilege, and my own mental slavery that have resulted in me learning from those failures to now be in a position to personally help others who consciously and unconsciously struggle with those same poisons. Yesterday was a blunt reminder of the pain, consequence, and inequality that endures in the lives of so many as a result and how I’m obliged to serve my world in contributing where possible to conquer these sources of division and hate.
I love the human race.