I become inspired—infilled with creativity—when I sit on my balcony.
I become lost in the ‘hum’ of construction, the occasional chirping of birds and the steady oasis of lush, green trees that permeate the urban landscape and selflessly absorb carbon monoxide from a depleted environment and transform it into O2.
Earlier I listened to a vulnerable and powerful conversation on race between Dean Helen Easterling Williams, EdD and Greg McKeown of the ‘Essentialism with Greg McKeown’ podcast here.
One of the points brought up among many is that out of the chaos and violence that the world is currently experiencing, something new and better will emerge.
Righteous anger is bursting at society’s seams. The stitches are becoming loose.
What I liked most about Dr. William’s expressive style is the calm and clarity with which she speaks about an explosive topic. Her life experience including having worked in a sharecropper family as a child in South Carolina—a reality that her Baltimore, Maryland school teacher whom she admired denied—gives Williams the authority to navigate between two worlds—black and white—and activate changes that will, perhaps sooner than we think, bring inequity to an end.
In Kohutian psychological terms, the disappointment Williams experienced from an idealized other (her teacher) contributed to lessening her grandiose exhibitionistic (expansive) self’s sense of worth and diminishing the integrity of her nuclear self. Fortunately, Williams overcame this via the compensatory path of becoming the first African American, female dean of Pepperdine University. If, however, we imagine this kind of soul-damaging trauma happening to—being replicated on—countless other black children, we get a glimpse into how this denigration of one’s personal story, one’s intimate, lived life experience devalues all of us (blacks, whites, and those of other races) in the societal matrix of our shared human experience.
As I observe the sky from my balcony, dark clouds are interrupted by bursts of sunlight. It is a cycle in which the sun makes strides, but clouds appear once more. This metaphor applies to how the fight against racism and racial injustice has progressed over the years.
As painful as dismantling old, inequitable, and iniquitous structures and building new, better, and righteous ones is, the time for this to happen has finally arrived. And I believe that this is happening on more than one level of society.
Our Creator is doing a new thing.[i] The tables are turning and sooner than we had ever imagined.
When all of these thoughts occurred to me on my balcony, so did the title for this piece, ‘Everything Is Going According to Plan.’
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Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash
[i] Isaiah 43:19.