This morning I read some truly impactful words which I want to share with everyone.
These words, which I have paraphrased and adapted to make them more relevant to my life and situation, come from The Education of Kevin Powell, written by Kevin Powell:
Definitions of manhood, mine or any other male’s, should not be based on the domination and exploitation of women and girls, ever, nor on the domination and exploitation of each other as men.
With this awareness I no longer take my life for granted, nor do I take the lives of others for granted. I am thankful for life, for my life, and I have found the strength to forgive myself. I’ve been damaged, I’ve been broken, I’ve been rebuked, I’ve been scorned, I’ve been unready for manhood, unready for my humanity.
I’ve made mistakes in my life, hurt people, and hurt myself. Out of that pain and trauma, I’ve found the will to live in a way that I did not think possible. Today and for the rest of my life, I believe in peace, I believe in love, I believe in healing, I believe in self-care, I believe in myself and I humbly ask that those I’ve disrespected or wounded in some way in the past forgive me, please.
I cannot say what the future holds for me, but I know that I want to live in a world in which life offers incredible opportunities to every human being. I want a world in which we treat every person with dignity with grace, with class. I want a world where people who do have privilege and power and great wealth also have great humanity; that they come to understand privilege, power, and wealth are spiritually and morally empty without empathy and compassion for those who are not them.
Today my life means nothing if I do not live it in service to others, if I do not help others, through my words, through my actions. I want to wake every morning without fear and face the world anew. I no longer want to live with self-doubt and low self-esteem.
I value myself and what I have to contribute to this world. I cannot control how long I will live and I do not want to. But I can control how I live, what I do, what I say, what I write, how I treat people, and how I treat myself.
We are created to be equals, to be one human race, to be loved, honoured, and respected, in spite of where and how we were born. We wish for it to be no other way. I know that my life, regardless of the troubles I have seen, has not been in vain. I can breathe, now, and I know now, that my life matters. If we can withstand our many falls and mistakes and efforts to sabotage and destroy our own lives, if we can withstand oppression, discrimination, hatred, and abuse from others, from those who have power but no love for people, all people, then maybe, just maybe, we can come out of the harshness and magic of our life experiences as better human beings. I am doing my best now, more than ever, to be better.
Finally, I can say I know what the right thing is, and I am doing it.