#YourlifeMatters Your Life Matters

#YourLifeMatters

I’m a person who likes to have answers. But in the wake of the recent shootings I’ve felt numb, helpless. No solutions. I hate it. But I feel like I have to say something. It’s what I do. Express myself with words. But it seems like every phrase nowadays inflames someone. If I say #Blacklivesmatter then there will be those who get offended thinking that by saying this, I’m saying that other lives don’t matter.

 

If I say #Bluelivesmatter then people are going to think that I don’t believe that black lives matter. That I’m somehow supporting “the oppressor.”

 

It’s sad that these cries of solidarity have become points of contention. With people throwing one out as a counter to the other.

 

We as a society really have to get past this concrete idea of “for or against” – you are either for me or against me and there is no room for common ground or room for more than one “truth” to exist.

 

It surprises me how some people see themselves as so progressive and enlightened, yet are completely closed minded when it comes to even trying to gain a true understanding of anything outside of their own limited life experience. Or how they are, in certain cases, unable to admit that they can’t fully understand such things.

 

At it’s core, when someone says Black lives matter, they are not saying that other lives do not matter or that Black lives are somehow more important or superior to other lives, They are simply saying that in certain circumstances, we as a nation need to open our eyes to the fact that Blacks are often treated as if our lives aren’t as valuable as others’. Especially in the justice system. And that by realizing and admitting these flaws we can work to correct them.

 

One has to understand that the black community has been plagued by injustice since before my parents were born. Look up how entire towns like Rosewood Fl, and Black Wall Street in Oklahoma were decimated by whites and very few, if any people were ever brought to justice for their actions.

Entire generations of Black people have grown up in fear of men in white hoods, and men in blue uniforms, who terrorize their neighborhoods and families and are rarely ever brought to justice. And that’s just a fact. And it’s sad. And it’s painful, and it’s ugly. But it stands true, just take an earnest look at black history.

 

Then you fast-forward to the incidents we see today of black people being gunned down and no one truly being held responsible, and you can begin to see why #Blacklivesmatter is not a Brag or an exclusionary phrase but a reminder that hey…we are human, we deserve fair treatment and justice. We have value and we matter. Yes ALL lives matter, but black lives are lives too.

 

It’s very interesting to note that if you look at the past. Those who ignore the cries of groups who claim to be oppressed oftentimes find themselves on the wrong side of history.

  • -European peasants cried out about oppression to the nobility. The nobility ignored it and  comforted themselves by saying it was the natural order of things.
  • -Slaves cried out about oppression to their captors, the captors weren’t having any of it. They comforted themselves by saying it was the natural order of things.
  • -Jews in Germany cried out of oppression to their neighbors, many of the neighbors dismissed it, the Jews were probably seen as paranoid and difficult.
  • -Modern day African Americans cry out about oppression  and discrimination to their neighbors, to the system as a whole, and in similar fashion, they are said to be paranoid and sensational. If you feel like this when you see the Hashtag Black lives matter. as if “they should move on and get over it”. Be careful, you too may find yourself on the wrong side of history.

But I digress.


When any public official, especially a policeman is killed, we see this general public outcry, and a surge of support and calls for justice for the fallen officer. And rightly so in most cases.  But no such universal outcry typically exists in cases of Black lives.

 

Instead we hear stories about how flawed the Black person was. How he or she looked like a thug, had a past criminal history, and other irrelevant Straw Man Arguments that try to distract, like “what about black on black crime?”

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All this is to say I don’t yet have answers on how to fix the issues of racism, bias, bigotry and hate.

 

I know that Violence isn’t the answer. But I’ve also pretty much lost all faith in the system being able to provide equal justice for my community.

 

But I offer this perspective shift for us all to consider… YOUR LIFE MATTERS. If we all have this mentality about each and every person we encounter it could fundamentally change the world.

 

THE GOLDEN RULE is the most profound statement I have ever come across when it comes to human interaction.. DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. It’s simple, but so deep.

 

If I don’t want to see myself hurt or killed or treated unfairly then I shouldn’t want that for you.

 

YOUR LIFE MATTERS to me, because MY LIFE MATTERS to me. And because anything that can happen to you as a human can happen to me. That is the root and the source of the golden rule and it’s something that seems to be lost in this discussion of whose right and whose wrong.

 

The problem that we have in our society is a lack of Empathy, and an inability of people to put themselves in another person’s shoes. Of course you’re going to see someone who doesn’t share your skin color or social circle and life experience as some “Other” if you can’t look at them and see a part of yourself inside of them.

 

So when you see someone putting #blacklivesmatter think about it with your own circumstance. Do you think that your life matters? the life of your child? Now what if your family had a history of being treated as if your lives didn’t matter? What if you wanted to let people know this was the case, but they called you paranoid and told you to get over it? In a similar situation would you not Scream out for truth, transparency and fair and equal Justice?

 

 

In our society we see too many differences to really live by the golden rule. But then we want to call ourselves progressive and post-racism, when if we’re honest, we don’t even see that unfamiliar-looking guy walking down the street as someone like us, or even human, so much as a potential hazard to our safety.

 

At the end of the day we have to break it down and follow the golden rule and say YOUR LIFE MATTERS…and if we apply this even down to our regular social interactions, up to our lawmaking processes ,we would have a greater sense of unity and progress.

 

I don’t have all the answers but I do know every major change starts grassroots. Everything starts with the individual. From within. With the changing of  consciousness and perspectives and saying Your life mattes in every aspect that My life matters. And in order to do that we have to see each others’s life as a life, as a human, just like we see ourselves. When we finally get this perspective then we can finally begin to fundamentally change the world.

 

All of our issues are a symptom of the disease which is our ability to put ourselves in each other’s shoes and truly realize that ALL Lives do  Matter. And that despite our differences of opinion we can truly listen to each other because #Your-life-matters #your-ideas-matter#your-thoughts-matter #your-addition-to-society-matters. When we begin to teach our kids to see life through #YOURLIFEMATTERS we can see a change.

 

I know it’s a lofty idea, and impractical and doesn’t provide answers to the right now… but adopting the perspective of Your life matters is simple and fundamental. We wouldn’t even have the history that we have with gun violence if that were in our consciousness already. It’s the long instilled idea of I’m separate that you, I’m somehow apart from you that got us here in the first place. With the perspective of your life matters how could you ever make someone your slave? How could you ever teach that an entire race of people are less than human?

 

Alright I’ll wrap it up, but I hope I made sense and maybe made a statement. Test yourself and see if you’re using Your life matters in your daily interactions.I guarantee you’ll make more friends, be more likable, improve your customer service skills, be more generous to the less fortunate. Because you’ll treat them the way you want to be treated.

 

Thanks so much for reading! Great things are on the horizon for you. Pray for the healing and a powerful change for our nation. Until Next Blog.

-Ellis

mlk-nonviolence

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