When you are reading this word – breathtaking – what are your first associations?
Some weeks ago, I would have said: the experience of sunrise, seeing and inhaling the moist early morning meadows, colorful clouds, a piece of (your) art I can connect to, …
Something that touches me deep inside. Something that resonates with me.
After having followed recent news – breathtaking – for me, provokes also other associations. The sentence above still applies though: It takes my breath away because I am touched, or more: shaken.
Something that can take your breath away does not take an hour – it can happen within an instant, a moment, a second. Leaving a deep imprint. Also the tiniest action, protecting something breathtaking or standing up for something that takes our breath away, i.e. shakens us, can leave a deep imprint (and potentially save lives!). Change circumstances. Situations. Slowly but steadily, realities. And this can start by speaking up in the right moment, making use of one´s own voice or creatively creating awareness (I recommend social justice advocate Anastasia Higginbotham´s book “not my idea”).
Why do we often not speak up?
If something literally takes our breath away – something happens to us. Physically. Psychologically. If something has the power to take our breath away, be it for the beauty, or in contrast: the cruelty of what we see in front of our eyes – that´s a strong sign.
I claim: Both is worth to stand up for.
Many people currently stand up, uniting their voices for what I want to believe in and see in praxis: JUSTICE. Yes, there is still a way to go. And there are also already paths to walk in this direction. So let´s not fall into apathy, ignoring our inner conflicts, but walk with open eyes through this world – and act accordingly.
As my dear friend Anni wrote: Be a good ally. “Do not only try to understand what it means to be a person of color. Try to understand what it means to be white.”
I promise I will.