A letter to myself.
There’s a difference between standing against injustice and seeking it out. Toni Morrison once said, “The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being..….. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”
While crossing at an intersection I looked to my right for cars, but instead found older white man staring at me. I looked back moments later only to find him still staring at me, so I began to stare back while crossing the street. It took me tripping on the island to look away and begin minding the road.
I won’t claim to know why that man was starring at me — my reaction was informed by my growing up in Thabong, Welkom — as it would be very biased. Once you’re aware of injustices, looking away carries guilt, while staring too long poisons the well. Keep fighting or look away? It’s usually a zero-sum game.
If you can’t look away from something, it controls you. I’m learning to pour from the well without emptying it, but most importantly, not to be compelled to pour at all times — not every action deserves a response.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity, which is why it’s important to stay mindful of what you’re giving your power to. Create spaces and habits which pull your attention to healing and progress over negativity. This is your power, don’t give it up.
Thank you for reading, I hope you find this useful. Be You, Be Great!