As an American, it breaks my heart to witness the crisis happening throughout our land. But, because of my lighter skin color in this country, I am just a witness. There are others I know and acknowledge that are not witnessing this crisis but experiencing it full-force. Not just now but for their entire lives. Racial injustice has plagued their existence.
For those reading who feel like me, who are trying to make sense of this crisis from “the outside,” wanting to help our fellow Americans, I share this article on personal policy.
Personal policy is about establishing guidelines – first with ourselves – and then expanding to our circle of influence, our community, our state, and ultimately, our country, to impact change.
These are some of the policies I have created for my life:
- I will not choose hate.
- I will not choose violence as a means of expressing myself.
- I will not choose judgment as a means of making sense of things.
- I will not choose race or skin tone as a means of valuing or devaluing someone’s life.
I did not wait to set up these guidelines in my life until this moment. These are foundational policies I have in place for how I live my life.
Policies, like rules, are designed to protect and provide regulation and order. Most of the time policies are created with the best information possible at a time when people are contemplating possible scenarios, figuring out what is best, and ethical. Policy made not in the heat of the moment, but on a neutral day, when you’re not triggered, thus, allowing you to make an educated decision. Doing so allows you to tap into your pre-frontal cortex – the decision-making center of your brain. The part of your brain that lets you be rational and make complex cognitive decisions.
Because we are amazing human beings. But we are also triggered by our emotions – day in and day out.
Emotions created by our thoughts.
It is important that we set our intentions, create our personal policies for:
- How we will treat people before we are in an encounter with others
- How we will respond when someone says something hurtful or hateful things
- How we will respect people who are different then us
- How we will converse with others when we disagree with them
- How we will minister to those hurting and vulnerable
- How we will use our voice, our power, our position in life to serve the greater good
As American citizens, we have to find a way to come together to collaborate and strive towards the fulfillment of our nation’s pledge…liberty and justice for all.
The challenge here is to think with the highest part of our brain, using our powerhouses to find new solutions, to create new opportunities, to invoke change that makes a positive impact. Without trying to silence someone else’s freedom of speech just because it doesn’t agree with yours.
A lot of people are tossing around different ideas on how to solve the issues in our country. A lot of people are taking different approaches to the issues. Some with their voice, others with their actions, still others with prayers.
We are hurting at different levels right now. Some have lost loves ones. They have grief to process on top of everything else. Some feel threatened in a very real way – and are living with fear for their life. Others are confused, angry, sorrowful, etc.
This is why having an established policy in place before a crisis happens will help you know how to show up and respond. Because responding in the moment often time leads to an impulsive decision that is not created using your most intelligent options. Sometimes resulting in a negative impact that sends a disastrous message.
I pray that leaders will rise up, striving to find a way to plan out new ways of protecting rights, preserving life, and prevailing human dignity.
And in your circle of influence, I challenge you to set your personal policies for how you will treat others, how you will spread respect, how you will use your voice to support those in need, etc.
All the while, learning how to use your thoughts to create positive inspirations that may just be the innovation we need to bring healing and resolution to this crisis in our country.
Together we can find a solution, create a wave of change, and bring peace to our hurting America.