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I understand. Although I haven’t dealt with the amount of racism you have, I didn’t like people most of my life. I’ve suffered some egregious hard knocks and been victimized by various people. Typical sad story you wouldn’t be interested in, I’m sure.

Over time, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world. I’ve learned Victimhood is a siren song that beckons me with comfort and simplicity. “It’s not you, Jim. It’s them. They are ________.” And of course what is so enticing is that the song is partially correct. They WERE racist or sexist etc. At least some of the time, but it’s more complicated and uncomfortable that that.

I’ve learned to consider the painful and complicated. It’s the only way I can grow. Sure, they could be gunning for me because I’m a man, White, etc. but there also a pretty good chance that I could have done something wrong, or didn’t consider something. In order to have mercy, one must give it too.

What part do I play in the things that go wrong? What could I have done differently? What can I learn about MYSELF as well as other people? Who’s trying to manipulate me? What direction are they trying to steer me. What’s their pay off for doing it?

It takes a lot of heart to do this. It is not easy. Sometimes it hurts. I put my foot in it sometimes, and when I do I have to admit it, not only to me but to others. I make assumptions that are wrong and head me in a direction that will require a lot of crow eating to get me on the right path.

If I don’t do these things, I become bitter and closed off. I find more and more excuses to blame them so that I can protect my ego. I start to spiral into dark territory.

If I do these things, I realize that I’m just as flawed as everyone else. I’m more prone to cutting people slack. I still take some hard hits, but am able to recover quickly from them. I give mercy and receive it in unexpected ways. I love freely and aggressively and although I sometimes don’t get it back, I’m loved by God.

I became a positive force in a world that needs it. Most people read this vibe subconsciously, and treat me well and give me deference. Not too long ago, I was a walking middle finger and hated people. I thought it was justified. I was treated accordingly for it. I changed ME, or really God did, and the world seemed to change too.

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