I’ve been trying to compose some words to express feelings in order to make sense of last week, this is all I can manage at the moment:
Not everyone will agree. We learn this pretty early on in life, but I do deeply believe that we should all agree to being kind, to love one another, and to allow every person to be heard.
There are two tenets that are core to the concept of psychological safety. Psychological safety is the creation of a space where people feel secure in being vulnerable and sharing. A space where one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.
These two tenets are:
- Every person has a voice.
(Their voice is made from experiences, knowledge, expertise, perspective.)
- Every voice is valued.
(No matter how young or old, no matter how abled or disabled, no matter their race or gender identification, no matter their professional role. Their voice is valued and when they speak they are allowed the space to be heard and their input is given equal weight to that of anyone else’s but more so when they speak from experience. Because it affects them and they are included at the table so that we can grow and thrive as a community.)
This past week has been exceptionally hard. I have been talked over. I have been told to be quiet. I have been warned that I am wrong in how I feel, mainly from those who are not impacted as deeply as I am by what has been transpiring for over a year.
This is not the way to grow. This is not the way to mend and heal and this is definitely not the way to allow us all to learn about and from one another.
I’ve seen individuals hurt deeply over the years from loss.
The veteran community has lost so many lives to suicide. And in that community, it doesn’t matter if they know the person or not, they are one of their family. They are loved, they are valued, and more than anything that loss bites them to their core.
I’ve seen people from the Black community lose children countless times. Their babies have been stolen from them far too soon. And that pain, the pain of losing a child has no equal. It’s such a heartbreaking loss that there isn’t even a moniker to express it in passing. Widowed, orphan…. how do we share this loss? We can’t, it’s far too deep.
I’ve seen this country nearly break when we were all impacted by terror on 9/11. We were all clutching our chests trying to choke breath back into our lungs. Gasping for understanding, and clawing to come back together.
Our communities are many. They are complex. They are beautiful in their own right, and they are built in ways that can never be logically explained because they are a part of who we are as people and as individuals.
I say all of this because I hope you will see some small shred of sense, I hope it will help you better understand the deep pain the Asian American community is breaking open by at this very moment. We are in pain. We are hurting, and we need you to love us more deeply right now than ever.
For many of us, we are disconnected from a larger community like some of you. I, myself, am disconnected. And that only heightens this sense of isolation.
But during this past week, as many mocked, dismissed, silenced, and disregarded me there were also those who stood up for and beside me. This is how we build a better country. One that truly is the best, where dreams come true.
Thank you, especially to Joy Langdon Gray, Tammy Hicks, Sonia Luzader, Angela Walden, Gordon Corsetti, Charlene Schultz, Guy Bell, Brian Produece, Leah Stroope Alexander, Chris Cazer, Lachlan MacÙisdean, and Linda Kreter each of you showed great kindness and I appreciate you all immensely.
To those who read this far, please let me know what community means to you.