We are all of us pushed in ways that make us grow; whether we know it or not even the things that we come to detest are motivating factors and actions in our daily experiences.
However, when the motivating factor is a nonracist world; the motivation has to come from a place both within and withOUT. The problem with that is when I tell people what my motivating factor is, I get ridiculed.
What motivates me to try and educate and teach and urge others? Love. Love is what keeps me going. Love is what pushes me to stand up and be a voice against all the other voices I hear because if I am a being inherently capable of love than that love has to expand and be expounded upon.
That love has to push me to see better in others. That love has to be something that others see in themselves.
I love the idea of people struggling and working through their privilege; it’s a beauty to see that struggle and realization on the faces of people who appreciate the work they are doing.
I cherish the opportunity to remind myself that racists and bigots are deserving of love. Because, they are.
We all are.
However, as much as that love can instill in me a sense of wonder and awe at a world that creates order from chaos (eventually), I also have to keep in mind that what I love about the person isn’t their belief system that says I am lesser than. What I love about them isn’t their mindset of bigotry and misogyny; it’s their flawed humanity that I love. Not the concept that creates that flaw.
It’s a difficult mindset to cultivate, and there are days when I wish I didn’t have to do that. There are days when the pain of staying that open to the world leaves me weak and unable to get out of bed even when I should be up and moving. Those days. The days of exhaustion and fear that the ridicule I perceive will lead to more actions by people who choose to be anonymous… Those days matter to me.
But not enough to keep from doing what I do.
Not enough to stop me.
The few months since I last wrote have seen great losses in the ability of people in this world to let each other’s humanity shine out. The more I struggle with it, the tighter the bonds of love that trap me. Until I finally surrender to them, to letting the love of humanity’s ‘humanness’ fall over me and remind me that flaws and all warts and all, love remains.
A very flawed, pathetic sort of love. Because sometimes it’s reciprocated. Sometimes.
We each of us struggle to find something to love in ourselves from time to time. We live in a world where only the perfect is loved; where the flawed are hidden and only by some strange hope get to reach out to the warmth of the sun that shines on all of us. But, even that has it’s problems. That ‘perfection’ we claim to seek has at its heart only fear. Fear of ruining the view of perfection it creates. Fear of being seen as ‘inadequate’ debilitates the opportunities that can be created and cultivated in letting that perfect persona crack and fall away.
But for the people whose shield and cloak is racism and its ilk, that fear motivates. That fear is what lands people in hospitals and morgues; and that fear has fed all kinds of laws and strictures on the social fabric in our lives. That fear of “Other” is so entrenched and seen as the way that self is defined that the love the individual is capable of, and the love that they themselves carry forward in the world is lost and left sorely lacking.
I try to remember that my motivation is to make their love shine forth.