In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King Jr.
I was sitting in a meeting not so long ago, when one of my ‘trigger’ sentences was uttered…In our culture…a seemingly innocent and interesting utterance, after all we are nothing without culture. It is our story, our community, our life. I believe it can also be an excuse for not taking steps to build a stronger culture. Throughout my career, I’ve heard it used in ways that quite frankly make my skin crawl.
In our culture
…we don’t talk about substance abuse
…we don’t talk about mental health
…we don’t talk about sex ed
…we don’t talk about child abuse
…we don’t talk about suicide
…we don’t talk about domestic violence
…we don’t talk about the benefits of good early childcare, when parents aren’t available(and in some cases appropriate to care for children)
It makes my skin crawl because by not talking about these things, we condone them…, we look the other way and our people suffer. ”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. I know talking about culture is sometimes a dangerous slope, so often we are judged by the color of skin as if it was the only factor in determining culture, when in fact ethnicity is only a small component of culture. It is my strong belief that if we are ever to truly change the world, we have stop using culture as an excuse, begin in our own back yard, start pulling at the weeds, start being pricked by the thorns of difficult conversations, address these issues so our culture will grow stronger, so our legacy will be fulfilled, so we can say and know I made a difference.