Tell the truth! Some conversations are easier had than others. Some are avoided because they are uncomfortable. Some aren’t leaned into because we are waiting for the ‘right’ time. Yet the truth – whether it’s avoided or embraced – remains unchanged. And the truth itself is not provocative, it’s simply the truth.
Provocative: a word I’ve heard increasingly utilized lately when it comes to some poignant truth-filled conversations. Perhaps it’s because the audience that’s hearing these truths feels the information is challenging, offensive, insulting, or stimulating. Perhaps it’s because there was no prior awareness of the information’s existence. Perhaps it’s because some have been incubated from its direct impact. Or perhaps it’s because ‘we’ (collectively) have yet to intentionally pursue it or develop a palate (appreciation) for it.
I’ve heard it said that “ignorance is bliss” and perhaps there’s a layer of accuracy to this statement, as it can leave one in a place of avoiding the cognitive dissonance of knowing there’s a problem, staring the need to change directly in the face, but consciously choosing not to. Unawareness can create a comfortable barrier that allows us to emotionally, intellectually, and dare I say spiritually avoid the pain of choosing. For when wakefulness of the truth comes, so does the quandary of choice; so does the conversation that is never (honestly) had.
This conversation reverberates truths that are deeply embedded in far-reaching, honest historic encounters which are still prevalent today. The conversation that is never (honestly) had – if we’re completely transparent – has at least at some point been considered. A consciousness of truth has always existed but now it has spread broader then it ever has, into corridors and exchanges never traveled, and onto platforms where its existence is no longer deniable. The truth (its champions) stands and demands the conversation that is never (honestly) had to finally take place, front and center.
“Do we sincerely want ‘real’ change? Why or why not? What is required and are we willing to make the investment? What would ‘real’ change look like for everyone involved during the planning, implementation, and post-implementation phases? How will ‘real’ change be beneficially? Who should be involved in determining what ‘real” change is needed? What has prevented ‘real’ change from happening to date? What happens if we continue to choose to not invest in ‘real’ change? Do I trust there are enough resources for everyone to prosper? What will I personally do to help ensure ‘real’ change becomes a reality?” This is the conversation. Provocative? No, truthful!
When ‘we’ choose to wholly acknowledge the truth, only then will it change from being seen as provocative to being accepted as ‘our’ shared reality and ‘our’ mutual normal. Far too often it seems that it’s not until we see/experience a shared tragedy or heartfelt event that the tenderness of humanity’s soul, that kindness, love or concern for people regardless of race, creed or anything else that tries to divide us is put on public display. It is not until the publicized random acts of kindness or heroism where people are seen intentionally and unselfishly helping others that ‘we’ are broadly reminded that each person holds the same dreams, the same desires, and we all want the same promises of peace, safety, fulfillment of purpose, and better for ourselves, our families, and our loved ones.
Yes, it is in these moments that ‘we’ are reminded that our worlds are not that far apart and how our individual actions and every personal choice that ‘we’ make (or choose not to) impacts each other. So when ‘we’ choose to not make choices for all of our betterment, what does that say about us individually? What does that say about us collectively?
Hosea 4:6a says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” As a Believer, for me this is a truth. It is a truth I unfortunately see in the lives of far too many individuals I encounter. The absence of the awareness of valuable information (spiritually or naturally) creates a devastation like no other. It fosters a void, a vacuum that can only be filled by the attainment of proper data. And as a truth champion, I believe ‘we’ must ensure equitable, timely access to resources including accurate knowledge, as it is foundational to accessing opportunities for growth and success. Knowledge equates to access. Access creates opportunities. Opportunities are doors and pathways to growth and success.
Once we are aware of better, we have the opportunity to choose better. And everyone has a right to make the choice to develop into the best versions of themselves. Everyone has the right to perfect and utilize their talents to the fullest. Everyone has the right to live a life unencumbered by undue obstacles. Everyone has a right to prosperity. Christ died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15), God has a perfect plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11), we are to serve others (I Peter 4:10), and must defend others in need (Proverbs 31:8-9). Justness is essential, it is our duty, it is knitted into our shared bond.
What if we chose to consciously live with the reality that our lives are not our own but were meant to help create a truly beautiful place for all of the inhabitants of the earth? What if we chose to focus on the ‘real’ enemy of the Believer (the devil) and purposefully created pathways to improve ourselves and help uplift each other? What if we laid aside ignorance and chose wisdom; laid aside fear and chose faith; laid aside hatred and chose love; laid aside skepticism and chose trust; laid aside excuses and chose solutions; laid aside dishonesties and chose truth?
What if we opened our hearts and chose ‘real’ change? What if we loved each other as God loves us? What if we, as God’s dear children, imitated our Father? What if we matured and really acted as His Church? It’s time to no longer say ‘what if’ and be salt and light, and representatives of He who is love itself. It is beyond time for us to chose to have the conversation that is never (honestly) had.
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are unfortunate and defenseless; open your mouth, judge righteously, and administer justice for the afflicted and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9, AMP)
© 2021 Kassandra McGhee