I started my social media accounts to advocate for personal and professional growth and encouragement. There is such a dire need to educate people that they are enough, that self-love and self-worth are achievable, and that each of us has a unique gift and voice worthy of sharing. I even chose the Instagram name “pamelameadowsoptimist” because being positive even in the face of negativity is so important to me.
Right now, I find myself heartbroken; silent, and screaming at the same time. I am beside myself. I watched George Floyd die in front of my eyes, on the ground crying out for his momma. Surely, we are not so desensitized that we are not all heartbroken or enraged.
There are many names that came before George Floyd and more black lives ended after our nation was polarized by the 8 minute and 46 second video of George Floyd.
Meanwhile, I am living a life for which I always hoped. I sit in the comfort of my house, listening to children laugh as they swim in our pool which overlooks our land filled with cows, goats, chickens, and a beautiful garden. My husband and I have worked hard to be able to establish this life. But when I look at the “about us” and “leadership” pages of corporate websites and mostly see my own skin color looking back at me I recognize that even though we have worked tirelessly, I started with an advantage.
Conscious and unconscious bias permeates our society. None of us were born with hatred or fear of another race or religion; what was learned must be unlearned. I am learning and unlearning. I am speaking with my children, who need to grow up in a better world. I am challenging myself to genuinely find out what I am willing to sacrifice to make a better world not only for my children, but also for my neighbor, my community, and humankind.
How can I help?
Educate myself by seeking out and amplifying minority voices
Donate to community programs or groups like Black Lives Matter
Join a peaceful protest
I just know that I cannot be sad and then go back to my day. Not ever again.