What is it to live with intention; to be intentionally anti-racist and to raise our children in this same manner?
If we are to explore the word “intention” it is to be purposeful in thought, word and action. There is a conscious choice to not operate on auto-pilot. To deliberately choose to not follow patterns of behaviour without any consideration, to not just go with the flow of attitudes, behaviours and language that was ingrained in our cultures growing up. It’s consciously saying “I’m no longer going to react in that manner because it causes harm to others” or “I’m not going to accept that common attitude because that’s just the way we are (or I am)” or “I’m going to intentionally speak up if I hear any comments that degrade another”.
To be intentional with how I chose to live each day, intentional in how I respect others, treating all as equals, while being intentional in how I raise my children. How I speak and act, sets the example for my children. They are forever watching for examples in how to live in this world. As I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “monkey see; monkey do”. They too will pick up on the same heart of attitudes, morals and beliefs and will tend to raise their family the same, until a cycle is intentionally broken.
What does it mean then, to be intentionally anti-racist? I’m sure it’s not just sticking our heads in the sand and doing nothing and I’m sure not thinking we should all go out in protest or riot.
Is it enough to be intentional to treat all with love; not just tokenistic acts, but with authenticity? To be intentional with our internal dialogue, to be conscious of our conversations; to observe, is it with love or judgement? Once we get our heads right, our actions and behaviour will follow.
If only we could have an internal kaleidoscope that no matter how the colours turned around in our head, our thoughts and behaviours were sifted through a filter of love. If only it was that easy. However, if we choose to be intentional and choose to have these intentional conversations with our children, we could begin to become part of the solution, rather than add to the problem, creating a more peaceful, loving world.