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Reflecting on the Turmoil

Just when we thought our COVID-19 entrenched world couldn’t feel more topsy-turvy, George Floyd died in a South Minneapolis street while in police custody. His death sparked peaceful protests and several nights of rioting not only in Minneapolis but across the county.

His death has brought to the surface, yet again, generations of wounding and systemic racial discrimination and violence. Both Floyd’s death and Covid-19 have disrupted nearly every major institutional system in our society. Both have also exposed ways of thinking and behaving that don’t serve us, individually and collectively.

Both threats affect every single one of us.

Unlike COVID-19, some reject the modern- day existence of racism, which has contributed to the widespread, systemic problems in communities all over the United States. Some may argue that White Privilege isn’t a thing, and that the reality of the lived experience of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) being brought to light is overstated and inflammatory.

But if we look at the way the vast majority of us behave around death and dying and grief and loss, one thing becomes crystal clear – just because we don’t want to look at something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

More than ever, in this moment, we’re being asked to examine our priorities and our choices. We’re being invited into deep exploration of how we truly want to live this life and the legacy we want to leave behind. We’re being urged to stand up for one another, and to use our voice to speak truthfully about what is.

When everything happening around us begs us to remember that we’re all in this together, and we actively choose it, love wins. And when we continue to ignore it because we have somehow convinced ourselves it’s easier or less painful, everyone suffers.

The perspectives and tools we offer here at End in Mind support this difficult but necessary process of winnowing and cultivating awareness:

  • We encourage reflecting upon the choices we make and the beliefs we hold in order to grow the space within ourselves to be with what is uncomfortable, all the while engaging wholeheartedly with what feels despairing and intractable.
  • We encourage wrangling with hard questions that serve as doorways into identifying our priorities and values in order to craft the life we want.
  • We encourage having hard conversations about the things that matter most, even when it feels scary and vulnerable, in order to cultivate deeper connection with and understanding of our shared humanity.

The world we’re currently living in is changing rapidly, imploring us to stop turning a blind eye to what feels hard, to the things we’d rather not face, calling upon us instead to remember we are not in this alone.

In the spirit of the End in Mind mission we ask: What kind of world do you want to live in? What changes will you be proud to have contributed to by speaking up and out, thereby supporting your fellow humans who are your neighbors, community members, family, and friends? When you’re on your deathbed, how do you want to feel when you look back upon your life?

Outside Cup Foods, where George Floyd died. Photo: New York Times

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