I’ve been thinking about how we can redeem 2020. To some extent, it’s about choosing our attitudes. As Bob Marley once said, “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
But I’m thinking a little more concretely. What can we do to usher in some real good out of the bad?
I’m going to put the first 31 entries of my book “The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament” on social media October 1 through All Saints Day, November 1. No time like the present to read through the New Testament, whether you’re a skeptic or a veteran. We ALL need some good news.
It’s something I can do leading up to the election. I hope it’s meaningful for you.
There’s another thing we can all do. Since racism is on the table, we can review our personal biases, because we all have them. Here’s a snippet from the website of Jane Elliott, a pioneer in diversity training. “Jane Elliott exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you…you are in for a rude awakening.”
We can look within and do better.
Jane Elliott was a teacher in all-white Riceville, Iowa in 1968. She was so infuriated by discrimination that she designed an experiment.
“On the first day of the exercise, she designated the brown-eyed children as the superior group. Elliott provided blue fabric collars and asked the brown-eyed students to wrap them around the necks of their blue-eyed peers as a method to easily identify the minority group. She gave the brown-eyed children extra privileges, such as second helpings at lunch, access to the new jungle gym, and five extra minutes at recess. The brown-eyed children sat in the front of the classroom, and the blue-eyed children were sent to sit in the back rows. The brown-eyed children were encouraged to play only with other brown-eyed children and to ignore those with blue eyes. Elliott would not allow brown-eyed and blue-eyed children to drink from the same water fountain and often chastised the blue-eyed students when they did not follow the exercise’s rules or made mistakes. She often exemplified the differences between the two groups by singling out students and would use negative aspects of blue-eyed children to emphasize a point.
Those who were deemed “superior” became arrogant, bossy, and otherwise unpleasant to their “inferior” classmates. Their grades on simple tests were better, and they completed mathematical and reading tasks that had seemed outside their ability before. The “inferior” classmates also transformed – into timid and subservient children who scored more poorly on tests, and even during recess isolated themselves, including those who had previously been dominant in the class. These children’s academic performance suffered, even with tasks that had been simple before.
The next week, Elliott reversed the exercise, making the blue-eyed children superior. While the blue-eyed children did taunt the brown-eyed children in ways similar to what had occurred the previous day, Elliott reports it was much less intense.” ~ Wikipedia
Here’s a link to the 26-minute documentary. Fascinating. Unforgettable. I hope you’ll watch it, for the first time or tenth time. I did.
It’s something we can do.