The tragic passing of George Floyd in police custody earlier this year led to an explosion of unrest, protest and defiance in the face of institutional racism. Black Lives Matter, founded in response to the oppression and murder of minority groups in the United States, was front and centre of the debate. This blog isn’t political but whichever side of the debate you stand, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, we can learn from the global demonstrations in a positive way. Although starting out small the BLM movement has become one of the biggest conduits for activism the twenty-first century has seen so far, perhaps surpassing the demonstrations that were held in protest of the Iraq war. BLM is a story about commitment and dedication to a cause, something we can all learn from.
The Rise of the “Postester”
Due to the advent of social media millions of people took to instagram to show support for BLM, causing a cataclysmic shift in content found on the site. Although a resounding call for support was greatly treasured by the organisation and members of the African American community, many people involved in the BLM demonstrations were disappointed to see that many feeds have returned to normal and little of the goals the organisation set out to achieve have been fulfilled. This “postester” phenomenon provides us with a powerful self-assessment on how we go about progression… Progression in life and in politics.
Many people suggest when we are working towards our dreams and our aspirations the real work happens when no one’s watching. Social media provides us with the illusion that we care about things, the illusion that we are a good person and are committed to a certain pathway, it doesn’t mean that the illusion is true, although it feels like it is. Whether we are in support of Martin Luther King’s dream or our own, actions speak louder than words. The real work gets done from a place of passion, a place where you don’t have a choice and a place where no ones watching.
Commitment to the Cause
The true passion lies in the thousands of people who attended BLM demonstrations all round the world. We live in strange times, with coronavirus rampant round the globe, it’s quite possible to catch the virus at these events. With alarming figures of fatalities the people who attended these events made a simple choice.
The BLM demonstrators who attended these events are so committed to creating a better world, they would rather risk dying than spend another day in the world we live in right now.
Many people think it’s crazy, and it is. To risk everything, your life and every fibre of being for what you believe in. It is crazy but it also leads to success. Kobe Bryant was also crazy, when he would wake up at 3:00am to hit the gym while all his teammates were still asleep, people thought the guy was mad. Now he’s known one of the NBA’s most treasured talents to ever grace the game. He was successful because he made sacrifices. An old Eric Thomas video comes to mind as I’m writing this post: when you want to succeed more than you want to breathe then you’ll be successful. He’s right, motivation and success comes from the deepest part of passion and commitment: the human spirit, something that BLM has to a great extent.
Attitude is Everything
This post is not meant to be political in any way but I feel we can learn from all of our surroundings in one way or another. This whole global development shows us that social media offers unstable shortcuts to fulfilment. We will only be fulfilled and successful until we are totally and irrevocably committed to our goals whether we want to end racism or progress in our careers. There’s a lesson here that we can all learn from in multiple ways.