Independence brings a feeling of pride and freedom. We strive for that freedom through different phases of life. The harder we fight for independence the sweeter the feeling of freedom is to our souls. As a toddler, we strive to walk on our own and we all know a teenager that can’t wait to get their driver’s license. Independence is the hallmark of adulthood. There is not a person reading this blog that wants to be controlled or manipulated into doing anything. We value the right to be independent. We cherish our freedom to choose what we will or will not do and believe.
Life coaches are curious by nature. As a life coach, I look at a norm and wonder is it really what it appears to be? I mean really think about it. What is independence with no unity and harmony? What is independence when someone can use their freedom to dishonor and disrespect your independence? What is independence if one group of people can snuff out the free speech of another group of people? Is it truly independence if you are forced to cower down?
As we celebrate the Fourth of July in America, I have seen a pocket of people protest this holiday for very good historical reasons. As blacks in America, we were still slaves and not even considered human at the time that America celebrated their independence from Britain. However, this is my challenge to every single person in America: love in spite of the history we all know too well. Can we please come together under a bond of unity? Are we willing to find it in our hearts to take people at face value, based on their individual conduct with us, instead of the stereotypes of media? Do we have the capacity to allow love to wash over all the wrongs that have been done?
I’m not saying there isn’t prejudice and racism in America because it is clearly alive and well. I have a black son that is driving age and I pray for his protection every time he gets behind the wheel of a car. I know what it is like not to get the same benefits as my white male counterparts working in Corporate America. I have seen racism and prejudice spit in my face and try to remind me of my place as a black woman. I know it is real – BUT, I don’t live in slavery anymore!!!
I appreciate the freedom I have to vote, purchase land and own my own business. I appreciate my freedom of speech, religious choice and my second amendment right to bear arms. I am saddened by the history of America but delighted in my ability to be free. It is a perplexed place to be black in America. To know that mothers all over the states are grieving sons that were killed simply because they were black while driving, walking or existing. Hear my heart! On both sides of the fence, we must find the ability to embrace unity if we are going to mend, heal and move forward.
I have dear friends that are white, black, Asian, Mexican and French. They have come through for me when my own flesh and blood discarded me. My life is richer because of the diversity of my friend base. Countless white males have given me opportunity after opportunity to grow and earn a healthy income. I can’t count the number of white male officers that gave me a warning instead of a ticket (because you know I was speeding and guilty as all get out). My point is we need each other. As independent, as we may want to be we are interdependent on each other. It takes all of us to contribute to the beauty of America. Yes, we have a bloody history but our past does not have to dictate our future. I like the way Isaiah puts it:
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19