Sunday, May 26, 2024

Staying Sane During the “Black Lives Matter” Movement.

July 17, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( If you grew up like me, you had the Books of the Bible shoved down your throat.  You heard and practiced them over and over and over and over again until you could recite them anywhere: in the park, during a spelling test, or at the doctor’s office.  The purpose of the repetition was for retention; they will stick eventually from saying them so much.

Did you notice that the same is happening with the “Black Lives Matter” movement?  People have caught on that repetition builds retention.  You are going to see it EVERYWHERE: news, social media, tattoos, face masks, and probably your grandmother’s new quilt.  And while the repetition is beautiful and monumental, it can make you feel things mentally. If you are, please know you are not alone.

When we see something a lot, our brain either tunes it out or we develop anxiety.  The anxiety comes because we feel a need to figure out our part in finding the solution.  Beyond Blue explains that one of the common triggers for anxiety is a “major emotional sock following a stressful or traumatic event”. If you watched the George Floyd video of the officer sitting on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, this movement takes a whole new meaning to you.  This means you start to internalize what is happening which causes the anxiety. BLACKLIVESMATTER-blackwomen

Another common issue that occurs mentally is the fight between empathy, sympathy, pity, and compassion. All the emotions are reactions to see something sad or horrific. So, if you know or witnessed the video of Philando Castille being shot while his wife and child are in the car, you probably felt one of the aforementioned emotions.  Be careful with these feelings. You can internalize them more than you intended to, and you overreact as a result of it.  Your overreaction can come in different forms.  For example, you become overly paranoid to the point where you negatively stereotype people that had nothing to do with the situation (I.e. Every policeman is a horrible person.)

The most prevalent mental effect is anger.  Anger increases because of those who make no sense or do not agree with our point of view.  Most of us have been educated on persuasion, but we do not know the true art of it. It is not just speaking your viewpoint. It is also being able to respect someone else’s.  When we have seen numerous video clips of policemen abusing peaceful protesters or racists screaming at people of color for no reason, some of us feel like the only way to deal with this is to get just as angry and violent.

So how do we combat this? How do we maintain some type of sanity amid all the chaos?  These suggestions are not perfect, but they may help:

  1. Turn off. There is no rule saying you must watch the news or social media every day.  Take time to focus on other aspects of your life like your family and your job.  This does not mean you do not care. It is simply a chance for you to reset so you can go back into the fight for justice.
  2. Find your role. You do not have the ability to save everyone. You cannot do everything.  Choose something you know you can do within your means and stick to it. Also, know that it is ok if your role changes for whatever reason.  It is not ok however to take on multiple roles and to think you will not go insane.
  3. Transition your thinking. You are not the world. You are you. Move yourself from thinking you are the whole movement. Remember, movements require multiple people. Each person has their part to the whole.

Repetition for retention is a great tool to help people remember important events and matters.  Political movements like “Black Lives Matter” are not going away anytime soon.  Do not let the search for justice make you go crazy.  You are no help to anyone if you are physically sick or mentally checked out. Know that it is ok to have your stance and to have your peace of mind. Oh…and the 66 books of the bible.

Staff Writer; J. W. Bella

May also follow this talented sister online over at; JWB Writes.

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