Give us a voice, or we will make demands. Hear us out, or we will protest. Listen and try to understand, or we will despair and scream. Don’t stand between us and our beloved parents. Don’t judge our mothers as immoral when you were not there to help her in her time of need. Don’t criminalize our fathers, when all he knew was pain and poverty. Don’t victimize us some more by trying to make us feel bad about our own families or culture. What choices did they have when all they see around them was hopelessness and indifference, from one generation to the next?
Where were you to help us break this vicious cycle of poverty, crime, addiction, abuse, and family dysfunction? We were kids among you, but you turned a blind eye to us… You did not dare to play with us. It seemed that you were afraid of us or thought us foreign or inferior. You stuck to your exclusive clubs and social groups and patted yourself on the back for being moral, upright Christians. Since you were not there to break bread with us, we had to lie, steal, and cheat to get our own share of the systemic crumbs. Sure, your little sheltered, sanitized life may not have insulated you from life’s pain and sorrows, but we did not know about it or could not see it from our shoes. In fact, all we saw was that we were left out time and again. First it happened to our grandparents, then to our parents, and now to us it seems.
When will injustice and inequity ever end? When will the playing field ever even out? If we don’t protest, get loud, make demands, then surely the status quo will just continue, and next our children will be left out. Be the bridge that you preach about. Lend us a hand and keep holding it. Help us break free from that cycle and give us hope in humanity. It’s not all in our mind when our heart hurts so much. Do not preach to us about God’s love and then leave us to cope with our own reality of poverty, broken families, addiction, darkness, and despair. You have no idea, He has been the one to sustain us. Many of us know Him intimately, perhaps more so than you do.
P.S. This letter is not written from my perspective, but from the perspectives of many people I know and love. Last week, I wrote a similar letter from the opposite perspective, also from many people I know and love. Please hang in there on these conversations.
#BetheBridge #EastMeetsWestParenting #Mindfulness #TheFigureOuterMode #KimParkerLCSW