I used to think that the only way for me to participate in social healing was to move. I live in a predominantly white, affluent, highly educated neighborhood. How could this be the place where I could take part in breaking down walls of social division? We didn’t move, and an old youth group phrase came to mind. “Bloom where you’re planted.”
Put down roots where you really are rather than longing for someplace else. Look for ways to grow, to bless, to engage, to partake.
And so I began talking with friends here about social justice. I began noticing the places where I am already connected, where I already have even small measures of influence—our church, our kids’ schools, a local arts organization—places to bloom where I’m planted.
The changes in me and in these places have not been seismic or quick. They might not even be noticeable to others. But our arts organization has formed a group to start talking about the connections we could foster among kids from diverse backgrounds. Our church is reading “The Color of Compromise,” and our pastors are talking about justice from the pulpit. I’m receiving emails and phone calls from people listening to Love is Stronger than Fear and asking how they too can bloom where they are planted—in schools, in neighborhoods, in families, in churches, and in workplaces.
So here I am. Soccer and ballet and homework and dishes and conversations about zoning laws and educational inequity and prison reform. One small step leading to one small next step. The pace of slow, messy, transformative, blossoming change.
To learn more with Amy Julia:
- Love is Stronger Than Fear | Season 3—White Picket Fences
- AJB on Racial Healing
- Five Next Steps Toward Racial Healing
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