Day 21: I Have to Try Harder

*The following is an expansion of an Instagram post I made a few hours ago. I've been sitting here thinking all night about how I have to try harder to push my beloved country to where I believe it should be. I have been afraid to speak up on my thoughts, but I can't be afraid anymore. 

While it is my great love, I couldn't post about fashion on a night like this. All I can give to you are these words from my heart. I thank you for taking the time to read and respect it*

The pain so many of us feel on this night, like so many other nights before this, is unbearable. And yet, reality -- that grim reminder we can never escape -- says we have no choice but to pick ourselves up in a collective resolve to challenge the status quo in our homeland. There is no easy solution, but this frustration is the ultimate precursor to action. And act people will, whether you are comfortable with it or not. I, myself, feel I have to act more. I have to try harder.

Above all else, I feel it's important to say that it's up to us who feel discomfort with the way things are to join police forces, justice systems, the media, armed forces and public offices. To use our platforms as writers, reporters, teachers, pastors, lawyers, organizers, neighbors, friends and parents. To prepare and educate ourselves so that we can, together with those with good intentions already employed in these positions, effectively weed out those who would see injustice flourish. WE CAN BE THE CHANGE we wish to see, if only we would try. I have to try harder.

We must be vocal. We have to get involved even when it's scary and when our opinions are unpopular. When people roll their eyes at us and dismiss us as sensitive or ridiculous. When discussions turn divisive and ugly. When it's inconvenient and when it's frustrating. We cannot be silenced. I have to speak louder.

And yet, we also cannot simply lose ourselves in our pain -- in destruction and in violence. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. There are good cops and prosecutors and that should go without saying. I know that there exists no greater divider than hopelessness -- that aching, oozing wound so many of us are nursing this night. But remember, friends, that evil can never cancel out good unless we allow it to. Remember too, that nothing is ever as simple as it's made out to be. That is, except these facts: We can and we must change this punitive society. I have to try harder in this fight.

I'm speaking not only to quiet my own despair tonight, but also to everyone with a heart. For our country. For our world. For our souls. For the good in this world. But most importantly, to honor those who we have lost to the scourge of modern man. I have to try harder. We have to try harder. Please. We must do better than this.


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