Too often, I suspect it’s those of us who have caused problems who want to let the problems just be water over the dam, gone and forgotten. Who, after all, wants to look at their mistakes?
And those who have been harmed are left to dig out the silt. (Still not looking!)
Maybe it’s time to reverse that. Maybe it’s time for us to be willing to let go of some of what we fear others might do to us and dig out the silt so the water and the waterway are clear.
Am I being obscure? I’m thinking about racism. We’re astonished that People of Color have “thin-skins” about racism… and yet the term “white fragility” grew out of white people’s inability to look at the impact of racism on People of Color.
Time to undo that. Time for change! Some things may not be allowed to be “just water over the dam.” They can’t be because people are wounded by our casual participation in institutionalized racism and oppression. Time to grab for the shovels to dig out the muck we helped to lodge at the base of the dam. It’s not glorious work. And in the silt is our embarrassment at our complicity. Yet, and, yet — Imagine how freeing it might be to not have to go through all the contortions to shut ourselves down to the damage evil does to our souls. We still need free flowing waters. We still need to remove the build-up. More than anything, we need Peace. Until we stop participating in it, racism is going to continue to muck things up. So let’s not. Let’s figure out how to flow, how to dig, how to Peace.