Join Me In Stepping Up…Against Hate.
The news this weekend of murders at the Tree of Life Church was so devastatingly shocking – the violent loss of the lives of 11 wonderful human beings who were peacefully practicing their faith. Another senseless hate crime that leaves me feeling physically sick, and only 3 days after the tragic murder of two black patrons in a Kentucky grocery store. Maybe you are wondering what this has to do with the work we do here at CYFS – and my thought today is that it has everything to do with it.
This morning, as I was skimming through the news and one of my favorite blogs, I learned of the Jewish concept of Tikka Olam. Tikka Olam literally means “to do something with the world that will not only fix any damage, but also improve upon it.” This concept is a really good fit for me, because I believe so strongly that it is each of our responsibility in life not just to do no harm, but to strive to make the world better place. Don’t get me wrong, I am not always good at it and just like everybody else I can easily get self-absorbed, but I am repeatedly reminded of it. And I am so very blessed to work here at CYFS where I am surrounded and humbled by others who are demonstrating their commitment to making a difference every day. Through their work – CYFS staff, volunteers, board members, and foster parents – are all living out their personal calling to try to repair what is broken and make the world a better place.
Just the sheer nature of our work at CYFS makes us an active “no hate zone” – treating everyone with dignity and respect, achieving solutions together, and the sheer perseverance our staff demonstrate everyday as they work toward better relationships, better outcomes, and better communities. This past Friday in one of our many Strategic Planning dialogues, someone suggested we be more visible about our commitment to inclusiveness and about the fact that all are welcome here – great suggestion. I couldn’t agree more and we are moving on it.
But this weekend also reminded me that we all have to step up our game against hate. We can never get numb to people being murdered just because of who they are …. because of their faith, or their race, or their sexual identity, or because they are immigrants, or for any other reason. We must do more. We must be actively contributing to solutions both inside and outside of work -speaking up, making it clear where we stand, having the conversations, taking action, exercising our right to vote, and teaching the children in our lives how to love. I need to take my game up a notch – maybe you feel the same.
Trish Fox, Executive Director of The Center for Youth and Family Solutions