Last year, my son told me he thought the real Santa had to be white because he’d never seen a black Santa. My heart was broken by my inability to have seen this coming as an issue. I am, after all, his mama and it was painful for me to admit I’d missed this because I’m white. But with any experience challenging what we hold as truth, we must move past the hurt, the grief, the anger, the disgust, or whatever emotion we initially feel when coming up against a viewpoint which challenges ours. We’ve got to remember that our beliefs are a result of our experiences, of which everyone has their own. The Santa oversight didn’t make me a failure as a mom, but it allowed for me to rethink the world through my son’s eyes. It is possible to reframe our beliefs when we listen well to others and, in the event you still disagree, it is possible to continue to hold your opinion while maintaining civility and humility in sharing it- to extend humanity toward those with whom you disagree.
May we, in the coming of the new year, be mindful when sharing our opinions. May they be based upon open and honest discussions, on personal connections, on voices or sources we hadn’t before considered. May we remember that opinions are fluid. May we choose our words of dissension carefully and with intention. May we learn, as I am trying, that the world is not always as it seems and only changes through a conscious effort to make it so.
In this New Year, may you find ways to right wrongs, to stretch your comfort boundaries, and to speak with a boldness tempered with grace. May you as a result, have your own awakening experience of
watching a child
sit at the foot of a Santa