It is always a thrill for me to look around and realize the room that I am in. It evokes a feeling not based on the merits that got me there or the role I am playing in what’s going on, but more so the fact that I am getting to witness and claim ownership of what is happening around me. I am very aware of the greatness of the people around me and the lives they must live to create the stories they now carry. I’m constantly impressed, not because I’m easily impressed, but because I see people fighting so hard for a life that brings joy and satisfaction and purpose.
Yesterday was no different, I was able to be a part of The Congressional Gracism Forum on Racial Reconciliation. Leaders from around the globe convened at the US Capitol to share ideas, best practices, and advice that will all be compiled and presented to the new administration as a plan to address the racial divide that we can not ignore in our country right now. Being able to facilitate discussion for people with such impact and those who have made such great sacrifices for the cause of equality, minority rights, and protecting the vulnerable was surreal.
There are many people who I know, that I have talked to, that I have seen expressing their raw emotion, whether in person or online, who would love to have a voice with those in power. I have learned from you, those who have shared about how deeply you have been hurt and how real your fear is as you see decisions made that seem to attack your very identity. I have learned from you, those of you on the other side who have told me how you see a president now in power who will make hard choices that prioritize what he believes is ultimately best for all over the temporary struggle it might create. Please know that I have heard your voice and I carried it with me into that room. Please know that when I spoke I did not just speak from my own opinions and perspective, but I spoke with you in mind. I so appreciate those around me that are willing to be vulnerable and vocal. I have learned so much from you.
My time yesterday ended with closing thoughts from some of the world leaders in that room and there was a consensus and conclusion that I believe we all can learn from. They said that in the midst of division and conflict our response will be love. Love toward the decision makers and love toward the ones most vulnerable to the repercussions. Trump supporters and Trump opposers joined hands and agreed that unconditional love was the way forward. Those words did not come easy for some, but they did come with determination and strength.
I will continue to pursue rooms like that where love and influence meet to care for those in power and those who feel like they have no power at all.