As we all continue to process the events surrounding George Floyd’s murder it is important to continue to pull empathy into the conversation. My wife and I got a chance to attend a protest starting in Brooklyn making its way to City Hall in Manhattan. The entirety of the protest was peaceful, with people of all ages leading chants as well. If we ever needed to stop, we would put our hands up. Cars would honk their horns in support of the march and we were led across the Brooklyn bridge to join up at City Hall with another protest that walked down from Times Square. Once joined, there were a few words of encouragement to continue to keep the energy high.

Then they asked us to take a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. It was roughly 85 degrees outside and the sun was still nearly overhead. Without hesitation, the group took a knee. Some sat, others crouched, everyone doing what they could to show support. You could see the faces of discomfort as the pain of kneeling began to set in. After four minutes others began to switch knees or begin to sit. I managed to make it five minutes before I had to switch my stance to the other knee. Having to reflect with the addition of physical pain can create a new perspective accompanied with new questions. Try it out. Time yourself as you kneel on the street or sidewalk. Doing it can be quite a task, then remember you would have a neck under your knee. All of a sudden, that “cushion” can allow you to stay in that position as long as needed.

Eight minutes is a slow death and a long time to think about the action taking place as you are taking a life. I can only hope we all continue to think about how eight minutes can change our own lives, whether it be reading a small passage, writing a tweet of support, watching a video, or even having a brief conversation, there are many ways we can make a difference, small or large.

We owe ourselves that much.

One thought on “8:46

  1. Powerful lens into the small sacrifices we make on our way to understanding, in order to drive change. Beautifully written!


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