Wendy Gladney (File photo)

Now we have fires to deal with! Who would have every thought we would experience so much chaos in one year? In January we learned about the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the rest of the passengers on the small private plane. Our hearts were full of sorrow in such disbelief. In February, we publicly experienced another Black man killed in cold blood by the name of Ahmaud Arbery. March was terrifying as we were officially introduced to COVID-19, the pandemic we all have been living with for months now, and an innocent woman by the name of Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own bed by police officers.

Some of us thought that the month of April would bring hope, but people continued to die across the globe from the coronavirus. Financially many did not know how they were going to survive, and hope was failing.  On May 25 George Floyd was murdered in cold blood and people said enough is enough. We were beyond tired. The #BlackLivesMatter Movement with peaceful protests began jumping off, but there were some that showed up for other reasons causing chaos.  As we continue to struggle through the hot summer, our hearts were broken when Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian died, and our superhero, Chadwick Boseman, aka “T’Challa,” lost his heroic battle to cancer. To make things worse the political strife in our country is uglier than ever. Those of us in the West, are now fighting fires that are raging out of control and we pray for the safety of the firefighters as they push forward to extinguish and put them out.

Chaos means complete disorder and confusion.  When chaos is present, oftentimes the behavior of people becomes unpredictable and sometimes random. We are all searching to find ways to return things back to the way they were or to what we call “normal.”  Newsflash: things will never be as they once were and in some cases that is not a bad thing. We need to relax, stay calm and help create what will be our new normal that is just and fair for everyone. Even when we cannot see it, good can come out of bad or chaos because it causes things to get stirred up and revealed.  The question is will we be part of the solution or exacerbate the problem? The choice is ours.  Let us figure out how we can live together, or we will perish.

We all have a moral compass.  We inheritably know right from wrong.  There are some basic life principles that are guiding factors on how we should live and treat others.  There are also situations that need to be challenged because they are based on privilege, history, and uneven playing fields. I recently read, when in doubt listen to your gut.  It is believed that our gut is our second brain.  I remember my grandmother sometimes asking, “What is your gut saying to you?” If we listen and pay attention to our bodies, they will talk to us.  The question is whether we are tuned in and paying attention to what it is saying to us.

There will be some things in this life that will be totally out of our control such as natural (and some man made) disasters, but there are some things that we just need to stand up and take control of such as racism, division, and the lack of respect towards one another.  Even when we disagree, we can do so respectfully.  When history is written about how things were handled during these unsettled times, what will be said about how we handled them? Tough times do not last, but tough people do. We can bring peace where there is chaos if we are willing to make tough choices and do what is right, equitable and just. #vote

Healing Without Hate:  It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.