If we’re not intentional, we can all be in danger of becoming palace people. It’s easy to isolate and insulate ourselves. We do it without even trying. We listen to just one news source. We read the same paper every day. We hang out with the same people. We stay busy all day, every day. We schedule our children and ourselves until we’re exhausted and blue in the face. We take the freeway so that we can go around the neighborhoods we would rather not enter. We drive, rather than walk. We choose entertainment that makes us feel comfortable. Our social media becomes an echo chamber of our own beliefs, opinions, and fears. We eat food that is familiar and walk on streets that others deemed safe. We surround ourselves with people and things and comforts that further enforce who we already are and how we already think. It’s truly the easiest way to live. But is it the best way?
Insulating ourselves and living in isolation leads to ignorance. We don’t know what we don’t know! Isolation and insulation are what make it possible for someone to go about their day, living on their cul-de-sac, not realizing that there is someone sleeping on the street just two blocks down. It is what makes it possible for Americans to throw away 40 percent of our food while others in the world are starving to death. Isolation and insulation are what enable us to buy a new pair of shoes or pick up some Christmas decorations without realizing that it was likely slave labor that brought them into existence.
In order to counteract this cycle of isolation, insulation, and ignorance, we need to examine three things: our position, our privilege, and our power.
From “Becoming Brave: Finding The Courage To Pursue Racial Justice Now” by Brenda Salter McNeil – Brazos Press