The Ripple Effect: Mirrors

It has long become clear to me that my children are a mirror of me, my relationship with my husband and my relationships with the world.

Many times it is humbling to see that they have internalized the good I try to be and do, the good I believe we must practice in this world and model for others.

It is not so easy or pleasant when I see images reflected back to me that I would prefer to ignore or not be reminded of.

Sometimes what is reflected back to me is an outcome of a behavior of mine or an interaction between my husband and me or something our daughters heard me say to a friend and let’s just say it is not always so flattering.

Now that my children are older, there are also reflections of years past right in front of me, and because we have all been together in close quarters lately, that reflection is bolder and brighter than it typically would have ever been.

Some reflections are more beautiful than the original image.

Other reflections are distorted and do not accurately reflect what I was trying to create.

The Advot Project has a glorious team. We have been meeting regularly during these crazy COVID times. I am seriously blessed.

Two of my seven facilitators are amazing black men.

They are kind and beautiful. They are smart and funny. One is a little stern; the other is a little sassy. They are everything and more of what I want and need in my visionary trainers (what we call our facilitators). My students go crazy for them.

These brilliant men are a reflection of the people who raised them, the love they received in their life, and really, all the good in this world.

I adore them both to no end.

The thought, that something could happen to them just because of the color of their skin, makes me sick to my stomach and absolutely furious.

The sad thing is, I know it already has happened.
Multiple times. These two men could not be kinder, sweeter upstanding individuals.
What a horrible refection of our society that these two amazing humans are thought to be so many things they absolutely are not.

The mirror put in front of us the past week should be a serious wake up call to every person in this country.

What happed to George Floyd is not new.

The oppression and mistreatment of men of color is reflected in that eight-minute video of a white policeman nonchalantly holding his knee to George Floyd’s neck and his fellow policemen not doing a thing, not one thing to save him.

The abuse of power occurs far too often.

I have heard these stories over and over again from my students. I have seen it firsthand when I was inside the incarceration facilities. Frustration and anger due to oppression is what is being reflected right back at us today.

I went with my daughter to see what we could do to help the small businesses that were looted with windows broken and graffiti painted all over. The depth of the ugliness reflected in those mirrors was almost too hard to bear.

It was devastating and sad, and yet as we cleaned together side by side with other people of all races, sizes, and religions, a clean new reflection of love and unity was looking back at us.

This made me cautiously optimistic in the sea of sadness.

The reflections of violence we see now are from years of systematic wrongs. They will not go away quickly. They also do not reflect the majority.

I marched and walked with different groups in the past few days. Dozens of my friends and colleagues have protested in quiet, calm, yet assertive ways. Let us not be blinded by the wrong reflection.

Our job now is to listen, try to understand, make sure that the image that is seen of us is the one we are happy to see reflected back.

Nelson Mandela said:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

We have a lot of work to do and it is time we start doing it.

1. Sign petitions.
2. Read, educate yourself and your children.
3. Call your representatives and demand justice.
4. Donate to causes fighting for racial equality.
5. Register to vote and help others do the same.

Do not despair.
Take action.
Speak up and out.
Be smart. Stay safe.
We have control of what we see in the mirror.

After all, it is our reflection looking back at us.