Thursday, January 2, 2020
Prof. Justine Dunlap leads us into the New Year with this reflective piece.
After joining HRAH blog for some rest and reflection at the year’s close, I start the new year with resolve. I resolve to pay attention to and make note of acknowledgments of connection and dignity, wherever they be found. There is much in the world that concerns advocates and threatens the vulnerable; it can, therefore, both surprise and delight when human values are affirmed in seemingly unlikely places. Thus, I was surprised and delighted when I noticed that a national commercial gym declares “you belong.” Any place that honors inclusion over exclusion is on the right track in my book. (and this is not the YMCA or YWCA, which have long had a community focus.)
Noticing this message of acceptance and inclusion led me to recall another pop culture reference that has stuck with me for awhile. Readers of Michael Connelly’s fiction are familiar with L.A. Detective Harry Bosch, who has appeared in many Connelly novels. The books are gritty, as is Bosch. Bosch’s relentless detecting is fueled by this motto: Everyone counts or no one counts. That reaffirming of each person’s worth and dignity is worth noting wherever and whenever it appears. So although there is much to dismay us, let us not be consumed by that but rather take note of the places where dignity and humanity are elevated. This year I resolve to look for – and be surprised and delighted by – messages appearing in every day life that honor inclusion, acceptance, and the value of all. Can I get an Amen?