I believe what we do today is more important than what we say. When it comes to what makes us human, and what makes us powerful, our actions are more powerful than words. For instance, if I say a million times that I love and honor you, but I show you contempt, neglect, and disrespect, my words are hollow and useless.

This week I am struggling with what I’m feeling, and how to express it. Since fourth grade I have taken to my pen when I was troubled or happy or inspired, and I’ve found solace there. Considering recent events, I’m not sure if I’m inspired, tired, sad, angry, hopeful, troubled, a combination of all of these, or just overwhelmed. Thankfully, from everything I am reading, hearing, and seeing, I’m not alone in my angst.

First, with the COVID-19 crises, the uncertainty surrounding how it’s spread, who can get it, and how to protect from it are still relevant topics that we must deal with as we return to shopping, attending church, and being with our friends, yet some people are acting irresponsibly when it comes to social distancing and wearing masks.

Washing hands, wearing masks, and staying six feet apart proved to be effective in slowing the spread of this horrible disease, yet not everyone embraced these practices. Wearing a mask is a misery but if it means I get to keep living, I grab one and proceed. If social distancing means I can’t go to “real” church in person and hug every single soul, I’ll get my laptop fired up and enjoy what we have.

Re-opening church is a big decision and since much of what goes on is fellowship, thinking through congregational singing and eating, sanitizing pews, bathrooms, water fountains, and classrooms, what to do about folks who can’t or won’t wear masks, it’s a full-time job. We’re literally and figuratively in a whole new world and how we move forward will make all the difference.

The same goes with conversations around race, policing, justice and all the moving parts that come with them.  I’m a child of the Movement, born November 1955 in rural West Tennessee, so I’m fully aware that this colors everything, whether I want it to or not. I attended segregated schools until forced desegregation in 1970, and I have always known race matters, again, both figuratively and literally.

My friends proudly run the gamut –race, class, gender, occupation, age, geography–but I learned to listen, and to care enough to understand and appreciate the difference and diversity they shared. These amazing people shared their lives and love to broaden and transform my uninformed views.

For that, I am grateful and as I watched people around the world join in peaceful protest last week, I was encouraged. Nevertheless, it is painfully obvious that talking about race and racism is uncomfortable, but so are discussions about human sexuality, immigration, abortion, class, the school to prison pipeline, whose lives matter—ok, pretty much anything that moves us outside our comfort zone. Unfortunately, the issues we can’t/will not talk honestly about are killing us and tearing our families and communities apart. They’re like a sore that can’t and won’t heal because we keep bumping the scab.

Today let’s let our actions and words match. Let’s walk in someone else’s moccasins to learn more about their culture, religion, philosophy, and traditions. Let’s ask tough questions and really see our neighbors. Let’s agitate and advocate for justice, fairness, equity, affordable housing, adequate food, and dignity for them and us. It matters today.

I am all ears for knowing about your action plan. Do drop in a line at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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