Friday, June 5, 2020

Be Still My Soul and ...


I think this is one of the hardest posts I have ever written. There has been so much emotion and thoughts inside my head and heart for a while. I have been struggling to put them in the right words. Nothing was good enough and close enough to how I was feeling. I am not a confrontational person and it took me a lot of courage to write this post. So bare with me and please be kind even if what I write offends you somehow.

It has been almost two weeks since George Floyd was killed by a police officer. I saw the video and I felt sick to my stomach to see how he was treated. For a day or two, whenever I checked social media, I was just overwhelmed by what I saw, read, and by my own emotions. Social media has became such a toxic place for me and to add to my anxiety on top of what is happening to my family in Japan. I had to leave social media for a while.

I started checking social media little more often a few days ago, and I am learning and listening more.

I am no stranger to discrimination and racism. I was mocked and bullied growing up for missing a leg and for how I walked. I moved to the United States and there were a few incidents I felt wronged because I am Asian (this coming from Caucasians and black people). My children are Caucasian/Asian, but they look more Asian and they have been called some racial slurs such as Jap and flat face. The lunches I've packed for them was called disgusting and gross by other kids. Many of these things are upsetting, but to me most of the incidents were them being rude and unkind people rather than being racist.

I have been watching and observing for a few years and I feel like more and more people use the word "racist" too often when it doesn't even apply.

If someone has a different opinion about law or some policies, it doesn't make the person instantly a racist.
If someone doesn't agree with you 100%, it doesn't mean that they are your enemy.
If someone express things completely the way you want, it doesn't mean that the person is not feeling things.

We are all different people, coming from different background and experiences and dealing with our own feelings. Naturally how we think and deal with things will be different from one another.

On the same note, I am not so naive that racism doesn't exist in this nation, but what would happen to this country, if the whole thing becomes one giant "witch hunt"? How can we have open constructive conversations without having fear of being attacked for your opinion? How can we find actual solutions and help those who are suffering?

Black lives matter. I hope those police officers will receive judgement they deserve. There is just no excuse for the actions of the one officer and the inaction of the other three.

I met this amazing beautiful lady at Babylock Common Thread conference a couple years back. Anita is a talented, graceful and strong women who inspire others in many ways. Whenever I see her post pop up I always want to read what she is up to or what she has to say. After what happened to George Floyd, she posted about her two sons and how she worries about their safety.

I felt her sorrow and worry because I am a mother of two sons and a daughter that I care so much about. After COVID-19 broke out my boys were called some racial slur while they were working. Even though there was no physical danger with those incidents, it made me worry so much because I have seen some Asian people attacked, just because they are Asian. If we all imagine things like this happening to ourselves and our loved ones; how might we feel? We might be able to grow empathetic and desire to do more.

I wish more people would see each other beyond the color of their skin and see who they are, their character, and deeds. It would be so wonderful if more people have mutual respect and show compassion towards every human soul regardless of any differences we may have. I think we can start by educating ourselves and teaching our children to be kinder people. We don't need any more contention or division; we already have enough in this society. It might sounds cliche, but what we need more of is love and understanding.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I have been learning more about racism. One of the videos I came cross had very good points and I learned a lot. If you are interested, here is the video.

I also found an interesting article written by an Asian Journalist who was trying to report on the Milwaukee protest (written in 2016); got caught in the middle of it but was able to escape: titled "You are Asian, right? Why are you even here?". Most of my Asian friends are not posting anything about what happened to George Floyd. I think it's not that they don't care, but they don't know where "we" fit in this issue.

The question I am asking myself is this, "You are Asian, right? Why are you even bothering to write this?"

I felt like my voice, as insignificant as it may be, might mean something to someone. I know I have much to learn, but my desire to do better is there and I know my heart can expand more. My heart is troubled, that is why I am keep saying to myself "Be Still My Soul". It doesn't mean that I am not doing anything. It means to me that I will trust in the Lord as much I can (remember, I am still learning) and keep trying to do good works.

36 comments :

  1. Beautifully said. I learned from you reading this.

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  2. Thank you for sharing Sachiko you put into words what I too have felt and feel inadequate to express. You are a wonderful example.

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    1. It was not easy. There were so many emotions and it took me a while to write the post and I am still processing.

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  3. Very well said. We are all children of God! It is not up to us to judge anyone, for any reason because of the color of our skin, our nationality, disabilities, our beliefs. We need to love each other as God loves us! Why do humans feel the need to be so cruel to others. Bless you and your family!

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    1. I don't know why some people feel the need to be cruel, maybe it comes from their own insecurity or they are angry people who are taking it out on others... who knows. It is very sad.

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  4. I completely agree with you. 100%
    Have you heard of a man called Shelby Steele?
    There are many of course like him, that see what is happening and why.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOhYqNbXGbE is so well thought out and explains so much.
    God bless you dear friend

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    1. I never heard of him, but I should go check it out. Thank you so much for reading my post.

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  5. My heart rejoices when I read your kind and steady thought and wishes.

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  6. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your feelings. I agree with all that you have said about not creating more division and I am glad that you also acknowledged the wrongness of what happened to George Floyd and many, many people with brown skin day in and day out in this country. I am Caucasian, and my husband is black. We also have experienced prejudice due to our relationship from people of all backgrounds and genders. You are right, not everyone is a racist. Racism is really defined as deliberate actions towards people that keeps them oppressed because of the color of their skin, nationality or religion. But PREJUDICE happens between individuals. There is a difference between not hiring someone because of their appearance, or denying a loan, or an apartment or house, or deliberately following them around a store when you have no good reason to, and having a personal negative opinion about them. The stark reminder in all of this is that it is impossible to look at the arrest of Dylan Roof, who openly and admittedly gunned down 9 black people in church while pretending to pray with them getting gently put into a police car and then even being given one last trip to Burger King, compared to George Floyd who may or may not have knowingly passed a counterfeit 20$ bill. Things like this can only be labelled racist. I would like everyone to have their opinions and beliefs and be able to still be good and kind and helpful neighbors to one another regardless of how different our neighbors beliefs are. I am also glad the rose colored glasses have been removed and we are finally talking an initiating conversation and change. I love your blog and your creativity and work and your inspiring personal story. Thank you for putting your heart out there.

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    1. My heart goes out to you and your husband for racism or prejudice endured. I appreciate hearing that you also agree that not everyone is racist and not everything is racism even though you have been on the receiving end of the unkindness. I also love how you brought up prejudice. I think we all need to be level headed and know the difference. Thank you.

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  7. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart.it means more than you know.

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  8. Thank you for your words, your wisdom, your growth. Love from another sew sister. 💕

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  9. Thank you for opening your mind and heart. that takes courage as well as conviction based on thoughtful examination of the self and the incidents. My heart hurts that you have been subjected to unkind, even hurtful, incidents. Few, if any of us, have entirely escaped hurt. For wearing glasses, being short, fat, skinny, tall, old, etc. I'm in no way meaning to diminish any pain experienced by anyone. I'm convinced that it's only through honest deep reflection and self examination that we can become good examples. You are a splendid example. Yes, I do believe that you'd enjoy Shelby Steele and Bob Woodson. They were on national Fox with Mark Levin, on his Life, Liberty, and Levin this past Sunday. Possibly available as rereun. Dennis Prager, Prager University, a free conservative effort, also examines issues, these as well as others. available on the internet.

    Bless you and yours.....

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    1. Thank you...We are only human and it is hard to forgive and forget painful experiences. Even the healed wound leaves a scar. My hope is that I can overcome those experiences and become a stronger person; strong enough that I can be kinder instead of being bitter. When it comes to racism, it will be a long and hard process for this nation. I think each of us has responsibility to start from within. :)

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  10. A beautiful moment to read your post .xo

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  11. Oh my goodness, Sachiko, thank you for this thoughtful, open-minded, heartfelt post. It makes me sad to hear the incidents that have happened specifically to you and things that have been said to you and your family. You are so right that we can all allow more space for open dialogue and not just shut things down. I think many people walk on egg shells for not saying the perfect wording on this topic. But I think if we're coming at it from a place of love and from our hearts, that can only push the conversation in the right direction. Maybe I'm naive, but I have to hope for that. We are lucky to know you and thank you for sharing and opening up to all of us.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, Dana. These experiences were hard, but they taught me many things. I definitely do not want to cause the same type of pain to anybody because of my inadequacy. I so agree with you "many people walk on egg shells". I see it all the time on social media, people get nasty comments and sometimes death threats for something they posted! I wish we could all respect each other and others' points of view and find real solutions regardless of whatever the position they have without attacking them... I admire you so much and all the good you do, Dana! Your good deeds and big heart reaches many. :)

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  12. Wonderful words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing!

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  13. I too appreciate you bring up the difference between racism and prejudice. The word racism will loose it power and effect if it is used to describe instances that are not truly racist.
    I did some research regarding Dylan Roof. I was deeply troubled by what you stated about the officers taking him to get a burger. I found that yes they did purchase him a burger but it was after he was already in custody at the police station. He was not taken to get a burger in the way to the station. It was reported that Dylan Roof had not eaten a meal for quite some time. I have had several officers I worked with (school resource officers I was a teacher) that say a burger is like a truth serum. They purchase the suspect food only to get them talking and win their trust. Worst case though, is that his lawyer could have tried to get the confession thrown out if he had been denied food. I included two articles to back up the ideas I mentioned earlier. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article25394389.html
    https://www.snopes.com/news/2015/06/22/dylann-roof-burger-king/
    My mom is a retired journalist and often states that we can no longer trust the news like we once did. Unfortunately, the media appears to be more about political agenda than recording the facts.
    I hope this will ease any pain caused by the events outlined in newspapers about the treatment of this killer.

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    1. Thank you for reading my post! Actually, it wasn't me that mentioned the officers taking Dylan Roof to get a burger. You probably read that in someone's comment and thought I stated it. I actually never heard of him or what happened. I asked questions and did some digging, I too found the same articles as you have listed.

      I do not trust major news sources anymore, especially since most of them are owned by same people who definitely seem to have an agenda of their own. I try to read from different sources and do my own research before I blindly believe whatever I hear on the air. I feel that we all have the responsibility to be good citizen; if we are truly concerned about the future of this country we need to act rationally, wisely and with kindness. Thank you again for taking the time to read my post and commenting. I too wish that we all could do better and that many things will improve for this nation as a whole moving forward.

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  14. Sachiko, I found your site linked from Amy Smart of diaryofaquilter. I appreciate your kindness in sharing your skills and your words. It is so difficult to put one's thoughts in writing when it is inevitable that someone will misunderstand or choose to be offended. Thank you for staying strong. Everyone has some burden to bear in life. Some people's burden is ignorance. Best wishes

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    1. Thank you for your comment Robyn. It is very difficult to write about what is happening in our nation right now. Especially since my intention is not staring an argument. It is my point of view coming from my background, experiences and own limited learning. My wish is that we will all have humility to listen and be loving towards one another. :)

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  15. Sachiko, I have and will continue to be a reader of your blog for a very long time. I have always enjoyed your posts... and this one is no exception to that comment. Thank you so much for your lovely post. It was from what I can tell from your heart. More people need to try that sometimes, speaking from their hearts and not from rage and hate. Its terrible what has happened and what has been happening for too too long. My kids grew up learning that words like hate, stupid, and others were not to be tolerated in our household. That before they used such words they needed to turn them around to see if they wanted those words used on themselves. I grew up through the 60's and 70's and saw so much of they terrible things that were going on on the news that it hurt my heart. It still does. It's must be hard to have to try to comfort your kids after they have been treated so rudely and harshly. BE STILL MY SOUL is one of the songs that are a comfort to me and have been for a long time. I'm so sorry that you and your family have been treated this way. Know that you are loved... for being you just the way you are and for who you are. A Child Of God.

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    1. Hello, Jean! Thank you so much for being a reader of my blog. I appreciate it very much. I don't post as often as I used to, but my blog is still a very special place for me to share my ideas and creations. This time, it was a very different and difficult topic. As you mentioned, I tried to teach my children when they were much younger, to be kind and speak kind words. Don't get me wrong, they still fought, used mean words out of anger and frustration, but they are turning out to be pretty nice young adults. I believe it is so important to teach them while they are young, and it is not school's or government's responsibility. It starts at home and by repetition and example we hope they will learn and live that way. :)

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  16. Hopefully we are all still learning every day to be better people and see what plans God has for us. Your words were perfect and bring a different perspective to the whole situation. ThNk you for sharing!

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  17. Yes! I believe our learning to be better should not end. It is a life long process, right? Thank you for your comments. :)

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