Where do we go from here? 

A couple of years ago, I was sitting in the waiting room of a Jiffy Lube, while getting the oil changed in my car. A 24/7 news channel was on the television.

I struck up a conversation with a young family in the waiting room with me. James, Michelle and their little one Gabriel. They are African American.

“They’ve forgotten us,” the man said as he pointed to the television news and the Congressional posturing that appeared to be taking place over some economic or social issue.  

“Tell me more,” I said.

James moves his hand in a circular motion.

He continues. “I’m just doing my thing with my five kids, my wife. It’s hard. I work. I try to maintain the peace in my home, my life. I do good things. I try.”

We sit in silence.

Gabriel begins to “play fight” with his dad. They wrestle like two puppy dogs in the chair…there at the Jiffy Lube.

Their play stops and Gabriel hops in his dad’s lap.

“I think all of them (he motions to the TV) need to get in one room and fight between themselves. Instead of sending us to do their war for them, they need to do it. Wars are not between people. They are between leaders.”

I think now about all the people I have worked with in my life…the peacemakers, the bridge builders, the status-quo-challengers, the exiled, the wounded, the brave and I think now is as good as anytime to rise up and decide to take matters into our own hands…not with weapons of destruction or injury or hatred…but seeds of love, connection, listening, trust and integrity.

These times call for a new kind of grassroots revolution…where resistance comes by standing strong in love’s stead and justice’s bastion and movement forward comes from the same. 

I remember when Hurricane Hugo swept through my beloved city of Charlotte. 1989. Oak trees, as tall as three, four and five story buildings fell to the ground. The wind was too much for their size and stature.

But the grass…oh friends…the blades of grass remained, grew and cast a green hue about my city that was beautiful and rich and unwavering.

I want to be like the grass.

If you are new to my page and to me and to the people in my life, welcome. Today is the day we begin. And so too will be that day tomorrow and every other day after.

We are the change.  

Registration for The Red Boot Challenge opens today at noon. If you live in another city outside of Charlotte and want to do something, to organize, to make a difference, please email us at info@theredbootcoalition.org.