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History Lessons

I hate to drive places, but I do love the opportunity to listen to podcasts and books on tape. It is my favorite part of driving. I learn so much. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to drive a lot, and in doing so I listened to several podcasts that got my brain thinking! I wanted to share the thoughts, as usual, with you - my readers.

If you want to hear some of the amazing information I heard, I encourage you too to listen to the podcast History is US. There are only 6 episodes, and after the first one I was hooked.

Did you realize that by not teaching our history of the United States, from multiple perspectives we lost so much as learners about an incredible history. When I became aware the history I learned was white washed I was mad, but I didn’t go seek out more history at first, shame on me. History wasn’t my favorite subject and it was painful for me the first time. The internet has made history so much more accessible with new platforms of learning and educating.

Yesterday during my driving I came away with a thought - I wonder if the public school system I so desperately wanted as a teacher was the system that was created after emancipation in the south. These black children were being taught by teachers who wanted them to be incredible. They wanted the children to find joy in learning. The educators themselves wanted so much to inspire, create and develop these children. Guess what - these children became the leaders of the civil rights movement. I want to have been there in that school system, developing leaders within all my students the way these educators did. (Episode 2)

We know how that ended, but what’s more, maybe we don’t. I mean, I know from my white washed history how it ended, and I see what is happening now, but something someone shared with me has been sitting in my stomach for a long time, and it connects with what I am learning.

Jim Crow, segregation, government orchestrated housing separation, police brutality, continued intimidation and fear mongering happen because of emancipation: because white people were and STILL ARE afraid if we give too much equality to people of color, they might turn their power on us, white people, and treat us the way we have treated people of color?

Let that sit for a minute.

I will admit I never considered that thought before, but when my dear friend presented that question to me I couldn’t answer. I think she is right - the fear that we have, and the hold we continue to place on those asking for equality is that we might become powerless. Instead of embracing that fear and admitting it, we just hide from it. We pretend we want equality for all, but we don’t.

We are afraid.

Fear is a powerful vice.

Do we want change?

Do we operate thinking there is only a limited amount of power, and if I share power with another then I will, in fact, lose my power?

Power, like most everything, is believed to be finite. There are so many limitations we place on ourselves when we operate from a scarcity mindset, and the more I learn, the more I see how many emotions and commodities are believed to be scarce.

I hope you will join me in looking within yourself and reckoning with your fear. Will you work to remind yourself that the many things we believe to be scarce, are not in fact scarce - but are abundant. We have been taught and trained so often that power, leadership, education, money, even love are not in abundance and if I have some I will do everything I can to keep it.

What a sad world we live in when we think the things listed above are scarce. I wonder - how long will it take for us to shift our mindsets so that we can build equality?

It takes work - are you willing to do it?

I use the word we, because after thinking about the comment, I see I have a lot more work to do, like you!

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