Editorial: Carry your candle in a new direction — and those who seek that light will follow.
Not just a moment, make it a movement.
That is what hundreds of people shared on Sunday at Darien’s peaceful walk through town. The images were compelling. They resonated on social media. They made an impact.
But it is not just one moment that creates change, or a social media campaign that makes change. The death of George Floyd is an event that has triggered all of these reactions. We see all of them in outside of ourselves, on our phones, and on Twitter, and on television. But the real change needs to come from inside ourselves.
We have to see actual individuals and understand their experiences. We need to question our lifelong learned behaviors and assumptions. We need to put a face on actual day-to-day experiences of racism. But we need to scrub our glasses clean of privilege first.
Racism can be as big as national incidents but it can be as small as assuming a child’s mother is her nanny because of the color of her skin. Racism is often comfortably and inherently learned from our beloved ancestors. We might not even realize it. And we might not realize we are passing it down to our children — knowingly or unknowingly. But that isn’t an excuse. Those who do so unknowingly need to learn.
These are trying, horrific times. We need to be our own example, our own leaders. We need to wrest this mess of a world, this mess of inhumanity into something beautiful and changing.
The only way to do it is to ask hard internal questions. And then, we need to set an example.
Darien set an example Sunday — while the town is frequently the target or the stereotype punchline, Sunday, it was an inspiration.
Take that inspiration to light a flame to your individual candle — of knowledge, of respect, of teaching our young people.
But please, let this lit candle not be for another vigil for a lost life.
Let it be to light the way. For God’s sake. For our children’s sake. For humanity’s sake.
Take that candle and carry it in a new direction — and those who seek that light will follow.