Let’s just address the dwarf goblin in the room (I didn’t just want to say elephant in the room like everybody else does), our president is shall we say, a tad outspoken?
I put it in those words because that’s something everybody can agree with. Now let me address what many people may disagree with:
Our country is and always has been divided on issues related to race and politics.
Don’t get me wrong we’re divided on a lot of things, but usually the other things (such as religion, sexuality, etc) are things that most people will just come out and say they’re against. Most of what’s flagrant in the news right now is lead by the divisiveness in race relations and politics.
In this post I want to address what you and I can do about the division in our country. This is not an all inclusive list nor is it a cure all list, but I think it will help us all begin thinking about true solutions moving forward.
Step 1—Identify one problem you want to solve.
Is our country divided? Absolutely. Are there a lot of issues that divide us? You better believe it. Which one bothers you the most? Whatever your answer is, pick that one and focus on that one. Oftentimes we attempt to do too much too soon. There are A LOT of problems in this world that divide us and you may have a heart to solve all of them, but you’re only one person. Think about it like this, you may have gone into college really good at math, english, science, and history. But if you tried to major in all of those things for an undergraduate degree upon entering college your advisor would’ve called you foolish at best. Yet, we attempt to champion 17 different causes at one time. I am not suggesting that you totally turn your back on other divisive issues or you don’t support other causes. What I am advocating is that you focus your efforts on one problem you have to solve. Your problem also needs to be something that you can actually do something about. Don’t be vague, be as specific as possible. Find your lane, major in that lane, find other people that want the same thing and work together to solve that problem.
Step 2—Map Out What a Simple Step to Begin Solving The Problem Looks Like
Here’s where things can get tricky. If you have a problem with what people say or think then you will have an unsolvable problem until the end of time. Whatever your problem is you have to map out a step that all supporters can take to help the solve the problem. This is where modeling the Civil Rights era can help. There were clear solutions in the Civil Rights era. There were unjust laws that could be changed and a blatant culture that was problematic and kept us divided. For example, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a solution to the problem: Black people can’t sit anywhere they want to on the bus. The step towards their solution was: Black people will not ride the bus until they let them sit anywhere they want. For your problem map out a simple step towards a tangible solution. What can you and others with your mindset do to move toward solving the problem? Don’t make it a ton of steps, make it one. So many of our modern day protests have moving targets as solutions which are aiming at the attitudes and hearts of people versus changing laws and/or lifestyles. Your solution should strive to change a law or a lifestyle. We are more united today as a result of laws that were changed 50 years ago. What can you help change today that will be a tangible change 50 years from now?
Step 3—Don’t Get Distracted By the Media
Our president tweets a lot. Mass media covers his tweets a lot. A lot of craziness and foolishness happens outside of our president’s doing. Mass media covers that a lot. Don’t get distracted by all of the hoopla. Is what they’re saying going to give you information on how to solve the problem you’ve identified? If so, great! If not, ignore it. Is what they’re saying going to give you information on pending danger you and your loved ones should avoid? If so, take in the information and avoid the danger. Normally however, most of what is given to us is noise designed to get us watching, listening, and bickering. Don’t get distracted.
Step 4—Measure Your Results
After a month are you getting closer or further away from your solution? Did you learn something about the problem you identified to help you come up with a better solution? Are you gaining support for your cause? Here’s another tricky component to this process if you’ve got a really big problem you want to solve (racism, social justice, world hunger, etc) you probably won’t see it solved 100%. The Montgomery Bus Boycott worked because for over a year blacks didn’t ride the bus, the bus company saw the hit in their profits, so they changed the law. Problem solved. Nowadays by and large we lack a clear plan and the patience necessary to pull something like that off. But think about it like this, April 4, 2018 was the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. He died not seeing his dream fulfilled, but things have gotten a lot better over these last 50 years. We still have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way in many aspects. So measure your results, don’t get frustrated with small steps in the right direction, and continue to build the next generation up.
If you think it will help you gain clarity on how to fight the evils you see follow these 4 steps and let’s change the world for the better. If you work with students and you want to help teach them how not to be divided take a look at this video I prepared and perhaps we can partner on this special project I’m working on:
Check out the video here——> http://www.odellbizzell.com/keeping-the-dream-alive/
Until next time!