I saw this quote the other day, and this compiled with all of the #BlackLivesMatter protests has left me battling conflict in my head.
This made me confront the fact that I am an able-bodied white woman who is financially able to be in Bali.
Then, I felt all of this guilt swallow me. Guilt because I haven’t done any grand gestures in the past to stop these issues. Guilt because I am not at the protests. Guilt because I am living an extraordinary life in Bali.
I got into an argument with a man here who didn’t understand why police shouldn’t target more black people because “they are less educated and more likely to get into trouble.”
I almost lost it. How could he not see that the system is set up so that the color of someone’s skin can determine their education? That black people have less access to educational resources based on taxes and that their black parents are more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts? “I had to overcome adversity too,” he shrugged.
I wanted to shake him, but how can you be so self-absorbed? Where is your compassion?
I was sitting in this anger, in my confusion, in my guilt for days.
Then, I was riding on the back of a motorbike today—one of my favorite things to do in Bali because of its meditative nature—and it hit me.
Yelling at someone isn’t going to make them understand. Whenever I am yelled at, I get defensive and even more angry. I recoil.
The image of Siddhartha came to me clearly. In the book, the protagonist goes to see the enlightened Buddha to get the meaning of life.
This Buddha is so expansive and filled with love that when any problem arises he meets it with curiosity and space.
I literally had a “What Would Buddha Do” moment (even though I am not necessarily Buddhist—another topic for another time).
In that moment, I realized that my anger will only continue to create conflict. But my love, oh my love, it can create unity.
So, here I am today, showing up for you all with nothing but love.
I am here for you. I see you. I feel you. I am unlearning. I am learning. I am listening. Come sit in my space. Come feel my love.